Head Coach: Grand Canyon University
A former big leaguer, professional scout and minor league manager, Andy Stankiewicz is in his eighth season at the helm of Grand Canyon’s baseball program for the 2019 season after becoming the fourth head coach in the history of the program prior to the 2012 campaign.
After a pair of successful seasons at the Division II level in 2012 and 2013, Stankiewicz successfully guided the GCU baseball program through a transition to the Division I level. The transition saw unprecedented success, as the Lopes claimed the WAC regular season championships in 2015 and 2017. Amid the transition, GCU posted an impressive 71-33 (.683) mark in conference play despite being the WAC’s only transitioning school. Amid the transition, Stankiewicz’s program recorded marquee wins over the likes of Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Arizona, Tennessee, UC Irvine and Kansas.
GCU’s success under Stankiewicz continued after the Division I transition when the Lopes claimed the 2018 WAC regular season title. The skipper was named the WAC Coach of the Year for the second straight season, and the program once again featured the WAC Player of the Year (Quin Cotton). For the second straight season, GCU won all eight of its conference series — running an impressive streak of consecutive conference series wins to a nation-leading 17 series. Stankiewicz also guided GCU to its first top-10 win, toppling No. 4/7 TCU 9-8 in 12 innings on Feb. 18.
Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator
Gregg Wallis enters his sixth season with the Grand Canyon baseball program in 2019, serving as an assistant coach for five seasons and taking over the duties of recruiting coordinator following the 2016 season. Wallis joined the Lopes in their first season of transition back to the NCAA Division I level in 2014.
In his five years with Grand Canyon, the Lopes saw unprecedented success for a team transitioning to the Division I level. GCU won the 2015 and 2017 WAC Championships. In 2015 – just the second season of transition – the Lopes claimed a WAC Regular Season Championship. Under Wallis’ direction, GCU’s offense finished with a .308 team batting average, a mark that was seventh in the nation. Grand Canyon had six All-WAC selections including the WAC Freshman of the Year.
The success continued following the successful completion of the Division I transition. In GCU’s first fully-eligible season, the Lopes once again claimed the WAC Regular Season title by winning all eight conference series.
Rich Dorman enters his third season as the Lopes’ pitching coach in 2019. He was hired in July of 2016 after spending the previous eight seasons coaching in the Seattle Mariners organization.
In his two seasons as GCU’s pitching coach, the Lopes have gone a perfect 16-0 in conference series. GCU has won a pair of Western Athletic Conference regular season titles, featuring a 39-9 record in conference play. In 2017, Dorman’s staff posted a 3.57 ERA during conference play, leading the Lopes to wins in their final nine weekend series of the season. The staff ERA in conference play ranked third in the WAC.
GCU had two pitchers selected in the first 10 rounds of the 2018 MLB Draft and had a third pitcher sign as a free agent immediately following the draft. Right-haned pitcher Jake Wong became GCU’s highest draft pick since Tim Salmon (1989), going in the third round (80th overall) to the San Francisco Giants. Mick Vorhof went to the New York Yankees in the ninth round. Ethan Evanko later signed a contract with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Director of Baseball Operations
Amicone is in his first year as a member of the GCU baseball staff for the 2019 season. In his role as director of baseball operations, he oversees the day-to-day operations of the program including travel, scheduling, budgeting, camps and more.
No stranger to the WAC, Amicone comes to GCU after serving on the coaching staff at Utah Valley for four seasons. He served as the team’s volunteer assistant in 2015 before being promoted to assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. On top of his recruiting duties, Amicone worked closely with the Wolverines infielders.
Amicone also played for three seasons at Utah Valley from 2009-11. He helped lead the Wolverines to two Great West Conference regular season and tournament championships. As a sophomore in 2010, Amicone helped lead the Utah Valley offense to the NCAA’s team batting title, hitting .352 on the season with eight doubles.
Volunteer Assistant Coach
After a four-year playing career at Grand Canyon, Paul Panaccione rejoins the baseball program as its volunteer assistant coach for the 2019 season.
Panaccione was a member of the program from 2013-16 and was one of its leaders during the transition to Division I. He appeared in 198 games during his four-year career finishing with a career batting average of .309 and driving in 112 runs. As a junior in 2015, Panaccione batted .376 and helped lead GCU to the WAC regular season title.
The shortstop also started 55 games as a freshman in 2013, an everyday member of a GCU team that reached the Division II College World Series the season before making the jump to D1 play.