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Former Arizona pitcher Michael Lopez, son of ex-UA coach Andy Lopez, joins New Mexico as pitching coach

UNM’s new head coach, Tod Brown, is also a UA alum

michael-lopez-arizona-wildcats-andy-new-mexico-lobos-tod-brown-pitching-coach-2021-jay-johnson Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

New Mexico’s baseball coaching staff has a distinctly Arizona Wildcats flavor to it. It started with the school hiring ex-UA pitcher Tod Brown to be head coach and continued Tuesday with the addition of former Wildcat pitcher Michael Lopez as pitching coach.

Lopez, the son of former UA head coach Andy Lopez, played for the Wildcats from 2009-12 and was a captain on the 2012 College World Series championship team. After graduating in 2013 he spent two seasons as a volunteer assistant before serving as associate head coach at NAIA school Marymount California University in 2016 and then moving to Howard (Texas) College, where he spent three seasons as an assistant before serving as the junior college’s head coach in 2020-21.

Andy Lopez coached Arizona from 2002-15, posting a 490-324-1 record with eight NCAA tournament appearances and two trips to the College World Series. Many of the players on Arizona’s 2016 national championship runner-up squad, coached by Jay Johnson, were recruited by Lopez.

Brown, a UA pitcher from 1989-94 and volunteer assistant with the Wildcats in 1999, was hired in May to succeed longtime New Mexico coach Ray Birmingham. Brown had spent the previous 14 seasons as head coach at North Dakota State, winning 341 games and reaching two NCAA tourneys, including in 2021.