Mike Zandler joined the Harvard baseball coaching staff in July 2013 as an assistant coach. Zandler previously served as the head coach at the University of Illinois Springfield, an NCAA Division II institution, for two seasons after assisting at Davidson for five years.
In his third year, Zandler helped Harvard to their most successful season since 2010, going 17-24 overall and 9-11 in Ivy League play in 2016. An important part of Harvard’s pitching unit, under Zandler’s guidance, Nick Gruener threw seven consecutive complete games, and finished first in the Ivy League and third in the country. He was named to the All-Ivy League second team.
In his second season at Harvard, Zandler played a key role in helping the team to an 18-24 record in the 2015 season, giving the program its most wins since 2007 and five All-Ivy nods.
Zandler took over at UIS in December 2011, two months prior to the team’s second season in existence. Over the next 1 1/2 years, Zandler helped improve the team’s ERA by more than two runs per game and led the Prairie Stars to a school record in conference wins. In addition to on-field improvement, Zandler’s squads were honored with 18 academic all-conference awards and recorded the highest two semester grade-point averages in program history. The team had 46 players named to the UIS honor roll in his three semesters of coaching and amassed more than 1,000 hours of community service in 2012-13.
Prior to UIS, Zandler worked primarily with the pitching staff and served as the recruiting coordinator at Davidson. His staff produced an impressive run of improvement over his tenure, as the Wildcats lowered their team ERA and opponent’s batting average in each of Zandler’s five seasons. His recruiting efforts also yielded two Louisville Slugger D-I Freshman All-Americans and three players were named to the All-Southern Conference Freshman Team during his time at Davidson.
His college coaching career started in 2002 at Guilford College in Greensboro, N.C. Zandler was responsible for the oversight and development of the pitching staff at the Division III program and helped with the Quakers’ recruiting efforts.
Zandler also has nine years of high school baseball coaching experience, including four years as a head coach at Walter Hines Page High School in Greensboro, N.C.
He graduated from Bridgewater College (Va.) in 1991 with a degree in political science. He also holds a master's degree in curriculum and instruction from Virginia Tech.