Lopez was the head baseball coach at the University of Arizona from 2002-2015, leading the school the 2004 College World Series, and 2012 College World Series, winning the title in 2012. Prior to joining Arizona, he was coach at the University of Florida (1995-2001), where his teams reached the College World Series twice (1996 & 1998). Before that, he coached at Pepperdine University (1989-1994) and led the team to a national championship in 1992. Lopez was also the head coach at California State University, Dominguez Hills (1983-1988), taking that school to the 1987 Division II College World Series. Lopez announced his retirement following the 2015 season .
Lopez began his coaching career with two seasons as an assistant at Los Angeles Harbor, then was head coach at Mira Costa High School (1978-1982)
Both of Lopez' sons played for him at Arizona. Pitcher Michael redshirted in 2009 and pitched one game each in 2010, 2011, and 2012. Infielder David redshirted in 2010, then played 3 games in 2011 and 5 games in 2012.