The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Zach Malvik named UWEC’s new head men’s basketball coach

With the new Sonnentag Center and a new coach the Blugolds have a lot to look forward to
Photo by Sophie Geske
Director of Athletics Jason Verdugo (left) along with Chancellor James Schmidt (right) introducing Zach Malvik as the new head coach for men’s basketball.

Just six weeks after the previous UW-Eau Claire men’s basketball coach, Matt Siverling, resigned the Blugolds Athletic Department announced the new head coach.

Zach Malvik was announced as the head coach for the men’s basketball team.

Chancellor James Schmidt along with Athletic Director Jason Verdugo, helped announce the selection of Malvik at a press conference Thursday afternoon.

“What we were ultimately trying to identify: a winner. We were trying to identify somebody that was going to be committed to Blugolds student-athletes,” Verdugo said. “Not only to the basketball program but the brand beyond that, be very invested.”

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Verdugo explained that there was a deep pool of applicants, close to 100, and a lot of talent out there.

He stressed wanting to find the right person for the position and said he couldn’t be happier with where he landed.

“I asked him the very last question, and this stuck with me. I said ‘Can you do this job?’ There was a long pause and he looked at me straight in the eye without a smile and with a huge intense scowl. It was like looking in a mirror as what I looked like as a coach and he said, ‘Without question,’” Verdugo said.

Malvik played for Winona State University while in college from 2002-2006.

He was an assistant coach at the University of Saint Mary for nine months, then at Winona State University and most recently at UW-Green Bay for one year.

“As much as we want to chase wins, chase championships, it is those relationships that you have with the guys you coach that really mean the most to me and is the reason why I do what I do,” Malvik said.

Malvik starts a new journey at UW-Eau Claire today. He said that his vision for the program is to compete for championships every year, but put more focus on how to have a championship culture. He emphasized communication, connection within campus and community as well as taking care in academics.

“Change is hard but sometimes change can be a good thing,” Malvik said. “The first and foremost thing for me is just getting to know them and letting them get to know me. I can’t coach them until we build some trust. I know there are good guys here that are about the right things. There are good people here and I am excited to get to work with them.”

Keep up with Blugold sports on the athletic website or the sports column on The Spectator.

Geske can be reached at [email protected].

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