Arizona’s Lopez plans to return to coaching in January

TUCSON, Ariz. – University of Arizona baseball coach Andy Lopez said through the school he plans on returning to the practice field on Jan. 15, 2014. Earlier this month, he had triple bypass open heart surgery.

“All of my doctors have assured me that the surgery went very well and I will fully return to coaching,” Lopez said in a press release through the school. “With the doctors’ advice, I will take the rest of our fall practice season off and resume all of my normal coaching duties when we begin preseason practices.”

UA began fall drills last week, just days after the school announced Lopez would be undergoing surgery.

 “We are so pleased to hear of the great progress Coach Lopez has already made since his surgery,” Arizona Director of Athletics Greg Byrne said. “He is one of the best baseball coaches in the country and we are glad that he will be our coach for many years to come.”

Lopez underwent a quadruple bypass surgery on Oct. 7 at Tucson Medical Center. He was released and returned home Oct. 11.

“I cannot thank the entire medical team at Tucson Medical Center enough for their care and support through this process,” Lopez said. “I am grateful of the tremendous team effort by everyone involved.

“My primary physician, Dr. Jeffrey Selwyn, got the ball rolling, and I received unbelievable treatment from my cardiologist, Dr. Salvatore Torrito, and my heart surgeon, Dr. Raj Bose.  Each of them has said I will be raring to go in January.”

Assistant coaches Shaun Cole and Matt Siegel have since directed the team in those practices, which continue through Nov. 15.

“Our players won’t miss a beat without me for a few weeks this fall,” Lopez said. “Coach Cole and Coach Siegel know our program inside and out. They’ve been to Omaha and won a national championship with us. Our players are getting outstanding coaching and I look forward to getting back on the field with them before the start of our season as we work to build toward Omaha again.”

The 2014 season will begin Friday, Feb. 14, 2014, with the start of a three-game series against Kent State.