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SoCon honors Cohen; Zandler to coach baseball at UIS

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Mike Zandler

Mike Zandler (right). (Davidson College Sports Information photo)

Mike Zandler, an assistant baseball coach who helped improve pitching at Davidson College over the past five years, has been named head coach at the University of Illinois Springfield, the university announced Monday.

Meanwhile, Davidson basketball player Jake Cohen was named Player of the Week in the Southern Conference for games played though Monday. 

ZANDLER TO ILLINOIS

Davidson assistant baseball coach Mike Zandler is headed to the University of Illinois Springfield as head coach.

Athletic Director Kim Pate announced the appointment Monday. “Coach Zandler brings a wealth of experience as well as a comprehensive coaching philosophy that focuses on developing student-athletes to achieve success and excellence in life.  I feel confident that Coach Zandler will develop UIS Baseball into a program that both the campus and community will be proud of,” Pate said in a press release.

Zandler also helped reel in some top recruits for Davidson, including two Wildcats named to the Louisville Slugger Division I Freshman All-America Team the past two years: third baseman Andrew Barna in 2010 and outfielder Forrest Brandt in 2011.

Zandler also coached two Davidson players who were selected in the 2011 Major League Baseball draft: left-hander pitcher Chris Lamb (11th round, 346th overall) and right-handed pitcher Andy Bass (18th round, 570th overall).

“It has been an honor to represent Davidson College for the past five years,” Zandler said in a Davidson College press release Tuesday. “I would like to thank Coach Dick Cooke for giving me the opportunity to represent such an outstanding institution. Most importantly, I would like to thank all of the players and assistant coaches that I have had the opportunity to work with during my tenure at Davidson.”

Davidson head coach Dick Cooke said: “This is a great opportunity for Mike. His dedication to and passion for Davidson College have been tremendous and this is a well-deserved position for him.”

Zandler coached previously at Guilford College, and at Page High School, both in Greensboro.

University of Illinois Springfield competes in the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Valley Conference.

COHEN IS PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Jake Cohen

Jake Cohen

Davidson forward Jake Cohenhad a big week last week, averaged 21 points and 6 rebounds in the Wildcats’ victories over Wofford (72-69) and Furman (86-65) last week. That earned him the Southern Conference Player of the Week honors, the league said Tuesday.

It was the second week in a row a Davidson player won the award. JP Kuhlman was last week’s selection.

The Berwyn, Pa., native had 26 points and five rebounds against Wofford on Dec. 1. Then he had 16 points and seven rebounds against Furman Saturday.

A forward, Cohen ranks second in the league in blocked shots (1.7/game) and is fourth in free throw percentage (87.5%). He has pulled down 2.6 offensive rebounds per game, the seventh-best mark in the conference.

The Wildcats (6-1) host Vanderbilt Wednesday night at Belk Arena in the annual Black Out Belk game. This year’s game is a fund-raiser for the family of former Wildcat and 1999 graduate David Burns, who passed away in October. Read more in our Monday front-page story, “Friends come together to help after David Burns’ death.”

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- who has written 1620 posts on Sports.

David Boraks is the founder and editor of Davidson News LLC, which started in 2006 as a neighborhood blog and evolved into a regional community news network. He is a print, magazine, web and radio journalist, with experience in every nook and cranny of the news world, covering everything from local news to Fortune 100 companies to technology to Asia. He lives on South Street in Davidson, in a house that was at the center of a 1914 murder case. Ask him and he'll tell you that story.

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