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Lopez named Cal U defensive coordinator

- New California University of Pa. defensive coordinator Mike Lopez.
New California University of Pa. defensive coordinator Mike Lopez.
- New California University of Pennsylvania defensive coordinator Mike Lopez when he held the same position last season at Fairmont State.
New California University of Pennsylvania defensive coordinator Mike Lopez when he held the same position last season at Fairmont State.

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By For The Valley Independent
Friday, March 1, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
 

CALIFORNIA – The Cal U football program announced the hiring of Mike Lopez as defensive coordinator on Thursday.

He succeeds longtime defensive coordinator Mike Conway, who is now the head coach at North Park, a NCAA Division III program in Chicago.

Lopez spent the past 11 seasons with Fairmont State, serving as head coach since 2007 and defensive coordinator from 2002-11. He led the Fighting Falcons to a 30-35 record, highlighted by a 7-4 mark in 2011, the most wins in more than a decade.

“We are fortunate to get a coach with as much experience as Mike Lopez, given his time as a head coach and defensive coordinator,” said second-year head coach Mike Kellar, who served as a head coach with Lopez in the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference from 2009-10. “He is a great teacher of the game whose defense has thrived and will continue to thrive in this era of multiple offenses.”

While head coach at Fairmont State, Lopez coached 22 All-WVIAC First selections and four All-Americans.

“I'm very thankful and blessed for this opportunity to join Mike Kellar and the rest of the staff at Cal U,” said Lopez. “The Vulcans have a strong tradition with outstanding coaches and quality student-athletes.”

Lopez was a standout defensive end for Fairmont State and team captain during the 1996-97 seasons. As a junior, he helped the Falcons win the WVIAC title for the first time since the 1988 campaign. Lopez transferred to Fairmont State after playing two years at Potomac State and being a team captain for the Catamounts.

Following graduation from Fairmont State, Lopez earned a master's degree from West Virginia University and served as a graduate assistant with the football program and then-head coach Rich Rodriguez in 2001.

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