Northern Colorado baseball adds Shane Opitz to coaching staff


After hiring a new head coach, the University of Northern Colorado baseball’s staff development is underway and the first hire was made this week.

Mike Anderson earned the top job earlier this summer and announced Wednesday that Shane Opitz will return to the program.

Opitz, initially hired in 2019, was a volunteer assistant coach during the shortened 2020 season.

“I am absolutely thrilled to bring Shane and his family back to Colorado,” Anderson said in a statement. “His experience in both professional and college baseball adds great value to the program. We are happy to welcome Shane; his wife, Catherine; kids, Carter and Alaina; and the whole Opitz family to UNC.”

Opitz spent time at Stetson University in Florida as the infield coach in 2022. Before that, he was on the Arkansas staff that won the SEC Championship and advanced to the NCAA Super Regionals.

As a player, he spent nine years in the minor leagues — eight with the Toronto Blue Jays franchise and one with the Milwaukee Brewers. He played primarily at shortstop but spent time at every infield position through the various MiLB levels.

Opitz was a multi-sport athlete at Heritage High School in Littleton, where he played football and baseball.

He set the program’s single-season touchdown record in 2010, was named the All-Colorado wide receiver and helped guide his team to the program’s first state championship. Opitz was the Colorado Baseball Player of the Year and Louisville Slugger All-American, as well, before being drafted by Toronto in the 11th round of the MLB Draft.

The Bears finished last season 12-39 overall and 8-16 in Summit League play. It was the first season in the league after transferring from the Western Athletic Conference. Carl Iwasaki stepped down at the end of the season.


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