The GCU Club Baseball program has taken its place among the elite club sport programs not only on campus, but in the nation. The program provides an opportunity for students to enhance their college experience by competing on one of our club baseball teams. More than 75 players have tried out for our three teams each year. The program consists of ‘fall ball’ scrimmages and a spring season with about 30 total games against conference and non-conference club baseball teams from other universities, as well as several matchups against community college teams from the Phoenix area. Our teams also compete against top local junior college programs. This is our sixth year of competition and our fourth year in National Club Baseball Association (NCBA) play. GCU strives to have Division I and II teams – both with chances to compete in the postseason. The future of the program is exciting.
In 2017-18, their second season on the NCBA Division I level, the Lopes’ Division I team steadily climbed their way to a top-5 national ranking, earned Southern Pacific South Conference and SoPac Region titles for the first time in their history, and finished third in their first-ever appearance at the NCBA Division I World Series this past May in Holly Springs, North Carolina.
In 2017-18, their third season in NCBA Division II, the Lopes went 12-6 in conference play, finishing in second place, qualifying for the Pacific South Regional Tournament, and were just two wins away from a national tournament berth. The Lopes vie each season to be one of the eight teams who advance to the NCBA Division II World Series in May.
The GCU Club Baseball Academy team is a great fit for talented baseball players with limited time to dedicate to their sport. Team 3 will practice on campus and participate in competitive wood bat leagues off campus.
|No Results for 2018-2019|
No Results for 2018-2019
Rich Warnol is in his fourth season with Grand Canyon University club baseball. He has coached at several programs with success at each stop. He has college coaching experience with three years at Arizona Christian University as interim head coach and then assistant coach. Coach Warnol also has been successful at the high school level with 10 years as an assistant at Horizon High School and six as a head coach at Scottsdale Christian Academy, Pinnacle High School and North Canyon High School.
Coach Warnol believes that he can help the GCU club baseball program be successful and compete in the NCBA World Series in the near future. His passion is to build belief in players while teaching them to play as a unit. He prioritizes growth in young men by teaching the game the right way and how to have integrity throughout life.
Coach Warnol was a four-year starter at Biola University and was a first-team NCCAA All-American. He graduated in physical education and earned a master’s in educational leadership from Northern Arizona University. Coach Warnol has been married for 25 years to his wife, Holly. He has three awesome kids – Tanner, Kassidy and Brayden.
Coach Fred Speck is in his second year in the GCU club baseball program and leads Team 2. He brings more than 25 years of coaching experience to the program from youth, high school, collegiate and international teams. He spent two years as an assistant coach at Biola University and six years as a player/coach in Europe before settling in the Valley. He assisted at two top high school programs: –Desert Mountain and Pinnacle. Coach Speck also operated an indoor baseball and softball facility for eight years and started a baseball academy that grew to more than 100 participants. He currently runs 9R Baseball, an instruction, camp and clinic business.
Coach Speck wants to make an immediate impact on the club baseball program and will focus on developing players to play the game the right way. He believes GCU club baseball has a unique opportunity to attract some of the best young men and become one of the nation’s top club baseball programs.
Coach Speck graduated from Biola University in business management and was a four-year starter, leaving the program as the all-time hits leader. He married his wife, Wendy, on May 19, 2000, and they have two children — a beautiful girl Jordan and a future baseball Lope, Cooper.