Coach Lopez is in his second season at Glendale. During his first year campaign the Gauchos finished the season as the NJCAA Region I Runner-up. In addition, during his first year, the Gauchos were ranked in the NJCAA Top 20 National poll for 3 weeks for the first time since 2005. "I was extremely pleased with how we finished the season last year. The kids worked hard and established a solid foundation for our group to build on this year."
Lopez was hired by Athletic Director Dave Grant in May 2012. “Coach Grant and all the people here at Glendale have just been tremendous during my first year and I couldn’t be happier. This place is filled with amazing people whom all share the very same passion for student-athlete’s.”
Before serving a brief stint as the Head Coach at Chaparral High School, Lopez served as an Assistant Coach at Pepperdine University for over 3 years. At Pepperdine, he was an integral part of team development, recruiting, opponent scouting and film break down. In addition, he served as a leader in academic monitoring, housing and meal plans. He was an ambassador to boosters and provided guidance in marketing brand development and public relations.
Prior to taking the post with the Waves he was the Associate Head Coach at St. Mary’s High School with his father David, whom has fostered and nurtured his son's skills both as a player and a coach. St. Mary’s was built into one of the premier high schools in the country, having players such as Channing Frye (Phoenix Suns), Jason Fontenet, Adam Lopez, Jorge Rochin, Casey Grundeman, Donnell Knight and Jerryd Bayless (Memphis Grizzlies), competing for League and State Championships each and every year. Since Lopez became a part of the St. Mary’s program, they won two State Championships, been a participant in 8 Final Fours and won or shared the a region title 9 times while posting a 276-94 (.746 winning percentage) record.
Lopez began coaching once he maximized his efforts as a player. In high school, he enjoyed success as a top student-athlete at Apollo High School where he was the Arizona State 5A Player of the Year while maintaining a 3.7 grade-point average. In his final two years at Apollo his teams posted a 51-4 record, winning at one point 44 consecutive regular season games. Starting at point guard for the Hawks, Lopez averaged 27.2 points, 8.1 assists and 3.5 steals per game his senior season as they lost in the 5A State Championship to Corona del Sol, 88-85. In that game Lopez recorded 35 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds in what continues to be the highest scoring championship game in Arizona history.
Heavily recruited by the likes of Arizona State, UTEP, Boise State, Utah, Seton Hall, San Diego, Northern Arizona and Cal-State Fullerton, Lopez chose Pepperdine University in Malibu, California for his collegiate career. A four-year starting point guard in the backcourt with Doug Christie, he helped lead the Waves to 3 NCAA Tournament appearances, 3 West Coast Conference Regular Season Championships and 3 West Coast Conference Tournament Championships. At one time during his career, the Waves broke the West Coast Conference consecutive win total set by the University of San Francisco in 1956, featuring Bill Russell and K.C. Jones, by winning 38 consecutive games. Although the Waves had their streak snapped at home, they continued on the road for another three weeks to set the West Coast Conference consecutive road win total at 28 games. At Pepperdine, Lopez was a 1,000+ point scorer, averaging 15.2 and 3.5 assists per game his senior season. In that year, Pepperdine nearly knocked off third-seeded Michigan (Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard and company) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, losing in overtime 78-74. Despite his stature, he scored 21 points, had 6 assists and zero turnovers while being named the Chevrolet Player of the Game.
Post college, Lopez had a brief stint with the Phoenix Suns and then with the Mexico City Aztecas of the Continental Basketball Association before settling back into his native home of Phoenix, Arizona. As one of the top young teachers of the game, he focuses on a full-court, pressure style of basketball that is unparalleled in the State of Arizona. He has “picked” the best parts of some of the best minds in basketball like Tom Asbury, Mark Fox, Jim Harrick, Ben Howland, Lute Olson, Royce Youree (Arizona High School Coaching Legend at East High School) and of course, his father David. He continues to serve as an excellent reference and judge of talent for college coaches when they evaluate Arizona Junior College and High School talent. A master at motivating, Lopez has spoken at several basketball clinics around the Valley, including the Phoenix Suns Camp in Prescott, Arizona.