By JOHN MOREDICH
OMAHA, Neb. – No. No. No.
University of Arizona baseball coach Andy Lopez is not leaving UA for his alma mater UCLA. He has said the same thing on many occasions since Bruins coach Gary Adams said two years ago he would retire after the 2004 season.
“I would be nuts if I left,” Lopez said. “People would ask me why did you work so hard to get this going here and then leave. We like it here. My family and I like it here.
“I think anybody would be a fool if they said Arizona didn’t have something going over there. There are a lot of young guys who fared pretty well for the first time at the College World Series.”
UA was eliminated from the CWS 3-1 by Georgia yesterday.
The rumors increased the past two weeks that Lopez was the potential hire because UCLA had not yet not named a coach, despite the Bruins being eliminated in regional play.
Lopez, who played shortstop at UCLA, was always considered the leading candidate because of his strong friendship with Bruins athletic director Dan Guerrero.
The rumors persisted, even though Arizona put in Lopez’s contract a year ago that he could not leave to coach for another Pacific-10 Conference school.