Danny Lopaze Named Baseball Assistant Coach
Lopaze promoted after spending last two seasons as volunteer assistant under head coach David Grewe.
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State head baseball coach David Grewe has announced the hiring of Danny Lopaze as an assistant coach. Lopaze, who has spent the last two years as a volunteer assistant on Coach Greweâ€™s staff, has been an instrumental part in the continuing development of the Spartan baseball program under Grewe. In addition to working with the outfielders, first baseman, hitters and pitchers, Lopaze serves as the Director of David Greweâ€™s Top 9 Baseball Camps.Â "Iâ€™m thrilled and excited to announce the hiring and promotion of Danny Lopaze as our new assistant coach," Grewe said. "For two years he has demonstrated two of the most important professional qualities â€“ hard work and loyalty. Danny has what it takes to help Michigan State baseball reach the heights and goals this program wants to accomplish.Â "There were several excellent candidates during this search, and it shows what a great job this is," Grewe added. "But what Iâ€™m really excited about is maintaining the cohesiveness of the staff. Danny has a tremendous relationship with the players and he is going to be an asset to Michigan State, the baseball program and the community for several years to come."Â "I want to thank Coach Grewe and the athletic department for giving me this excellent opportunity," said Lopaze. "Iâ€™m excited to stay in East Lansing and keep working with this staff in making the Spartan program one of the best in the Big Ten. Iâ€™ve been here for two years and I share the goals that Coach Grewe and Tony Baldwin have for Michigan State baseball. Theyâ€™re a class act and have really shown me how a successful program is run. I feel MSU baseball is turning a corner â€“ I know good things are in store for this team and for many years down the road."Â The past two seasons, Spartan players have seen marked improvement under Lopazeâ€™s tutelage. In his first year, Lopaze tutored outfielder Ryan Basham, a first-team All-Big Ten selection who was drafted in the 29th round by the Toronto Blue Jays. Lopaze also worked with converted first baseman Steve Gerstenberger, and helped develop him into one of the Big Tenâ€™s top defensive players. Gerstenberger posted a .991 fielding percentage in 2006 and his 406 putouts were the most in MSU single-season history.Â This past season, Lopaze again worked with a new starting first baseman in Evan Friedland, and produced positive results. Friedland recorded 397 putouts, the third-best mark in program history, to go along with a .991 fielding percentage. In the outfield, Lopaze worked with new starters at every position, including junior college transfers Dennis Jones and Justin Potes and freshmen Eli Boike and Chris Roberts. Jones quickly developed into one of the top center fielders in the Big Ten and was among the league leaders in outfield putouts.Â A Dumfries, Va., native, Lopaze attended Potomac Senior High School where he was drafted in the 16th round by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the 1999 Amateur Baseball Draft. Lopaze opted to turn down the Devil Rays and attend Virginia Commonwealth University. As a freshman, he earned Colonial Athletic Associationâ€™s Rookie of the Year and Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-America honors.Â While playing at VCU, Lopaze was a member of the 2000 Yarmouth Dennis Red Sox in the Cape Cod Baseball League. In four years at VCU, he led the Rams to three NCAA Regional tournament appearances (LSU, South Carolina and N.C. State). Lopaze hit one of five Ram home runs on Championship Sunday to defeat LSU and force a game two which had never been accomplished during Skip Bertmanâ€™s reign in Baton Rouge. In Lopazeâ€™s senior year (2003), he led the Rams to an all-time high in victories, with 46. Lopaze was drafted and signed by the Chicago Cubs in the 40th round of the 2003 Amateur Baseball Draft. He spent a season playing professional baseball with the Cubs organization in Boise, Idaho, and Lansing, Mich., assisting Lansing to a Midwest League Championship in 2003.Â From 2003-05, Lopaze served as an assistant general manager and assistant coach for the Petersburg Generals. In 2005, he moved into an assistant coaching position, working with the hitters and infielders.Â At Michigan State, Lopaze has utilized his background in sports management as camp director.Â Lopaze graduated from Virginia Commonwealth in 2004 with a degree in sports management/parks and recreation.
Michigan State head baseball coach has announced the hiring of as an assistant coach. Lopaze, who has spent the last two years as a volunteer assistant on Coach Greweâ€™s staff, has been an instrumental part in the continuing development of the Spartan baseball program under Grewe. In addition to working with the outfielders, first baseman, hitters and pitchers, Lopaze serves as the Director of David Greweâ€™s Top 9 Baseball Camps.