Mark Laschanzky remembers when the Rocky Mountain Baseball League provided perhaps the best amateur summer baseball competition in the state. Laschanzky hopes to return the Boulder Collegians to that level once again.
Just a few months removed from the end of their return season following a two-decade hiatus, the Collegians have found a new head coach in Laschanzky. A former assistant under Steve Disbrow at Boulder High School, Laschanzky has agreed to become the Collegians’ coach in 2014.
“I wanted to get back into Colorado, and I’ve always loved the Boulder atmosphere,” Laschanzky said. “My dad is a CU grad. My brother is a CU grad. I’ve been going to CU football games since I was a midget.
“I want to get this league back to where it was when I was in it. It was a pretty good league. I want to see Colorado baseball put back on the map.”
Laschanzky spent three years at Boulder under Disbrow from 2009 to 2012 and currently is a graduate assistant at Division-II Augustana (S.D.), where he will complete his master’s degree in sports administration in May before returning to Colorado to take over the Collegians.
Laschanzky was selected from a potential coaching pool that included Colt Sedbrook, who was removed from consideration when he took the head coach job at BHS. Team owner and general manager Matt Jensen was surprised to learn he had played against Laschanzky in the league years ago, and he is confident the graduate of Arapahoe High School will bring stability to a program that is still cementing its foundation less than one year after its re-launch.
“We had some guys in mind we were considering that were pretty big names, but none of them were Boulder guys,” Jensen said. “While Mark didn’t grow up in Boulder, he has that local connection, and that was huge for us. He’s the perfect product of what this league is supposed to be about.”
Laschanzky replaces Brett Manning, who helped Jensen reboot the Collegians program and led the club to a 19-27 mark in its 2013 return season, including a 12-16 record in the RMBL. Manning, a graduate student at Northern Colorado, will remain part of the Collegians’ administrative team.
In addition to his work at Boulder High, Laschanzky was the pitching coach at Hastings College in Nebraska and later held the same position at Arapahoe Community College. He was promoted to ACC’s head coach and held that position until the program was discontinued in 2005.
Jensen also announced that Boulder graduate Taylor Henry has been tabbed as Laschanzky’s assistant coach. “I’m looking forward to getting back to Colorado and hit the ground running with this,” Laschanzky said. “This is a huge opportunity and there is a ton of untapped potential with this program.”
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