The Hurricanes baseball team hired Norberto Lopez as an assistant coach, the program announced Friday morning.
Lopez will oversee catchers and assist coach Gino DiMare with the team’s hitting.
“Coach Lopez is exactly what we need. He’s a Miami guy, he’s someone who has caught in college and professional baseball, and he is a great source of knowledge for our players at that position,” Head Coach Jim Morris said in a statement.
Lopez played baseball at Monsignor Pace High in Hialeah and later played at Broward College and Nova Southeastern.
After spending three years in the Los Angeles Angels minor league system, Lopez worked as the hitting and catching coach at Broward Community College for two seasons before taking a similar role at Florida Atlantic in 2007. Lopez spent the last seven seasons on the University of Texas-Pan American’s coaching staff.
“I’m extremely excited – I can’t express it in words,” Lopez said about joining the Miami staff in a statement. “Growing up in Miami, I was a big fan of UM, and now I get to work alongside a legend in Jim Morris, a great recruiting coordinator in Gino DiMare and a tremendous pitching coach in JD Arteaga.”
Lopez’s main priority this season will be working with junior catcher Zack Collins, a 2015 All-ACC first team selection and All-America honoree. Collins was Baseball America‘s National Freshman of the Year in 2014.
The Hurricanes were arguably the best hitting team in all of college baseball last season, finishing 2015 ranked seventh in batting average (.307), second in on base percentage (.417) and fourth in total hits (724). Miami made it to the College World Series last season for the first time since 2008.