Former Pepperdine Head Baseball Coach Andy Lopez to be Inducted into the College Hall of Fame
Former Pepperdine baseball head coach Andy Lopez will be inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2022.
The inauguration date for the Class of 2022 will be a part of the College Baseball Night of Champions celebration on Feb. 2-3 in Omaha, Nebraska. The other inductees are Bill Almon, Roger Cador, Casey Close, Ken Dugan, Jim Garman, Condredge Holloway, Art Mazmanian, Ken Ritter, and Rickie Weeks.
Lopez was at the helm of the Waves’ baseball program for six seasons (1989-94) and had an overall record of 241-107-3, including a National Championship in 1992.
A native of Gainesville, Florida, Lopez graduated from San Pedro High School and earned an associate’s degree from Harbor Junior College. He then went on to UCLA, where he was the team captain and starting shortstop.
Lopez was drafted in the ninth round by the Detroit Tigers in the amateur draft but opted to complete his studies in Westwood and begin his coaching career instead of turning pro. He was inducted into UCLA’s Baseball Hall of Fame in 1994.
Upon completion of his studies at UCLA, he got his first coaching job at his junior college alma mater, L.A. Harbor Community College. He spent two seasons as an assistant coach there before moving on to the high school coaching ranks at Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach, Calif. As head coach, he led Mira Costa to a 108-48 (.692) record over five seasons before being hired at CSU Dominguez Hills in 1983 and led the Toros to two league titles (1986 and 1987) and the Division II College World Series in 1987. Three different times he was named the conference coach of the year at Dominguez Hills and his 168-152-2 (.525) record in six seasons caught the eye of Southern California neighbor Pepperdine.
Lopez was hired by Pepperdine in 1989 and began to make waves in Malibu right from the start. In his six seasons, he had his best winning percentage at a school in his career (.691). His first squad with the Waves went 41-19-1 and made the first of four NCAA postseason appearances during his time. In 1991 the Waves finished the season 41-17-1 and exited postseason play early, but laid a foundation on which the 1992 team could build.
The 1992 season culminated in Pepperdine’s first and only baseball national championship in school history. Thought by many to be too small of a school to compete nationally in baseball, Lopez and his team shocked the collegiate baseball world by going 48-11-1, including 8-1 in the postseason. The 3-2 title game victory over Cal-State Fullerton in Omaha earned Lopez consensus National Coach of the Year honors by Collegiate Baseball and Baseball America.
After his departure from Pepperdine, Lopez coached at the University of Florida and the University of Arizona. He spent seven seasons with the Gators from 1996 through 2001 and led the squad to Southeastern Conference titles and trips to the College World Series in 1996 and 1998. While in Florida, he coached major leaguers David Eckstein, Mark Ellis, Brad Wilkerson, David Ross, Ryan Shealy, and Josh Fogg.
In his fourteen seasons as head coach at Arizona, the Wildcats qualified for the NCAA tournament eight times, including two College World Series appearances and one national championship.
His 2012 national championship team went undefeated in postseason play winning 10 games, three at the Tucson Regional, two at the Super Regional against Saint John’s at Hi Corbett Field in Tucson, and five at the College World Series in Omaha. As the Wildcats’ head coach, Lopez had an overall record of 459-300-1 (604) and a conference record of 174-165 (513).
Lopez announced his retirement from coaching on May 25, 2015 and finished as one of the most successful college baseball coaches in the game’s history compiling a 1,177-742-7 overall record, a three-time National Coach of the Year (1992,996 and 2012) and a nine-time conference Coach of the Year.
Pepperdine’s opening series of the 2023 season will be on Friday, Feb. 17-19 hosting the Eagles of Boston College. All three games will be live on the WCC Network.