In the minds of every Arizona Wildcats fan, former baseball head coach Andy Lopez was already a hall of famer.
Well, that will become official in January when he is inducted into the ABCA Hall of Fame.
Lopez is one of 11 members of the 2018 class announced by the ABCA (American Baseball Coaches Association) on Tuesday.
The others are: Ed Blankmeyer, St. John’s University (N.Y.); Hill Denson, Belhaven University (Miss.); Don Freeman, Prairie High School (Wash.); Jim Gilligan, Lamar University (Texas); Tim Hill, Sr., State College of Florida; Bobby Howard, Columbus High School (Ga.); Stan Luketich, Desert Vista High School (Ariz.); Pat McMahon, New York Yankees; Frank Permuy, Gaither High School (Florida); John Schaly, Ashland University (Ohio).
Arizona was the third school that Lopez led to the College World Series, having previously taken Pepperdine and Florida to Omaha before the Wildcats went in 2004. He is only one of three coaches to have done this, and he’s only one of two NCAA Div. 1 head coaches to win national championships at two different schools (Arizona and Pepperdine).
Overall, Lopez put up a record of 1177-742-7 as a college head coach before retiring at the end of the 2015 season. He stepped down as the head coach at Arizona after undergoing quadruple bypass open heart surgery in 2013 and never really regained full health after that.
He ended up coaching 39 All-Americans and 85 All-Conference players over 33 years.
Lopez is already a member of the Pima County Hall of Fame, but this one means just a little bit more. Congrats to coach on such a great honor.