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Lopez named Cal U defensive coordinator

| Friday, March 1, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
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.

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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