Coach Lopez Brings Life Experiences to Glendale’s Field of Dreams

Angelica Fraire

Assistant baseball Coach David J. Lopez comes from a troubled family; however, his grandparents’ guidelines are helping him earn his master’s degree and teaching credential.

Growing up in Reseda, life was not the smoothest for Lopez. “I come from a dysfunctional family with an addict for a mother and a father that was never around,” he said.

“After ending up in an orphanage at the age of 3, my grandparents received custody of me and raised me,” Lopez continued.

As an adolescent, he said, “I had a lot of anger aimed at the world and needless to say I was quite a knucklehead. I was expelled from two high schools before dropping out of high school my sophomore year.”

After he and his mother had been living on the streets for a year, Lopez decided he needed to clean up his act, so he moved back with his grandparents.

It took him five years to graduate from high school; however, he finally graduated from Reseda High School in 1999.

“I found out that I was able to motivate myself through baseball,” Lopez said. “After high school I attended a local community college and eventually received a scholarship for baseball.”

He finished his baseball career at Concordia University of Irvine and in May of 2006 he received his bachelor’s degree in Business Management.

Lopez said he is the first of his big family to receive a college degree, and he is “now working on my master’s degree and teaching credential.”

“I have been lucky enough to hold onto my faith through the hard times, and I credit my grandpa for making me the man I am today,” Lopez said.

GCC graduate and friend of Lopez, Ernie Alverez, said, “Once you get to know him, he is very nice and knowledgeable about [baseball] workouts and he is always willing to help the students.”

Alvarez is not the only one who has positive feelings about Lopez. Players say they like Lopez, and that he knows when to discipline them and when to be a good guy.

“He is very helpful, especially with the hitters,” said pitcher Clayton Dungfelder. “He is encouraging to me as a pitcher. He cares for the whole team and dedicates a lot of time away from his family for the team,”

Lopez was offered a part-time assistant coaching position and also as an instructor in the fitness center and weight room. “I decided that I had a natural ability to coach and develop young men,” Lopez said.

“I have been working for GCC for five years and I love my job and the people I work with,” he said. “There is a great environment in the athletic department that really fosters growth in the young coaches.
“In the short time I have been coaching I have been able to touch lives, and really impact the student athletes that I encounter.

“After a short stint in the business world I realized that money isn’t everything. I needed to define myself by something that was more substantial. The fulfillment that I receive from coaching is unlike any other job I have maintained,” he said.

Other than working on his school work and baseball coaching, Lopez is currently engaged and is planning to get married in December of 2010.