Tucson, AZ (KOLD) - It appears that retirement was the right call for former Wildcat baseball coach Andy Lopez.
"Honestly," he said, "I really know I made the right decision."
After 38 years coaching baseball, 14 of those years at Arizona, Lopez hung up the cleats more than month ago. And he hasn't looked back.
"I'm really relaxed. I'm enjoying every single day with my wife which is unbelievable."
Lopez has traded in the stress of coaching for a well earned breath of fresh air and it's clear at this point he prefers the latter to the former.
"Now that I'm away from it," said Lopez, "I've come to realize even when you're here, you're not here. Your mind is at the game. Your mind is at a recruit. Your mind is somewhere else even when you're physically here. It's really different when you're not thinking about recruits and scholarships and the professional draft. I'm a much better husband and a much better father today. "
Which is not to say he hasn't kept his eye on the Wildcat program. Recently he sat down with his replacement Jay Johnson at Johnson's request.
"Man what an exciting time," said Lopez. "To take over a great program like this and be apart of a great community and tradition...I said this to him. 'Enjoy it.' I was excited for him. The program's in great hands."
A few years ago Lopez received a hammock as a gift from his daughters. On Tuesday he sat in it with a book, read some, and watched as the monsoon approached. It was only the second time he had ever used the hammock. The first time was when he set it up. Life is different for Andy Lopez and he's just fine with that.