LI Native Passes Sadly at 35

Colby coach Jack Sandler died Thursday night after reportedly collapsing while on a treadmill. (Colby College)
Colby coach Jack Sandler died Thursday night after reportedly collapsing while on a treadmill. (Colby College)

Colby Head Coach Jack Sandler, 35, Passes Away

Colby men’s lacrosse head coach Jack Sandler died Thursday night while on a recruiting trip, according to university president David Greene. He was 35. Sandler reportedly collapsed while on a treadmill in a hotel.

Sandler was in his third season leading the Mules after spending eight seasons as head coach at Skidmore College. He led Colby, located in Waterville, Maine, to the NESCAC playoffs in each of his first two years as coach.

Sandler, who as a player finished as Bates College’s second all-time leading scorer, became an assistant coach at Bates immediately after graduating in 2002. He spent two seasons coaching under Peter Lasagna.

“Jack was a truly great, trusted friend. More like a son in many respects,” Lasagna said. “I am deeply saddened by the loss of this great young man and dear friend.”

He also was an assistant coach at Dickinson College for one year, helping the team to the Centennial Conference semifinals and the first win over rival Franklin & Marshall in 20 years.

“This is such a tragic loss. Jack was only 35 years old and filled with extraordinary promise.”

— Colby president David Greene

“This is such a tragic loss. Jack was only 35 years old and filled with extraordinary promise,” Greene said in a letter to the Colby community on Friday morning. “I have had the privilege of knowing Jack since I arrived on campus and have been so impressed with his warmth, vitality, deep integrity, and genuine concern for his students.

“It was clear he loved the game of lacrosse and coaching, but his real passion was teaching and helping students develop their full potential physically, intellectually, and personally.

A Long Island native from Hicksville, N.Y., Sandler attended Friends Academy in Nassau County where he was a three-sport athlete in lacrosse, football and wrestling.

At Skidmore, Sandler was the Liberty League Coach of the Year in 2007 and 2011. He led the Thoroughbreds to appearances in the conference title game in 2007 and 2010. The 2011 Skidmore team was ranked as high as 11th in the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) poll, the top ranking in program history.

Sandler was a member of the USILA executive board as an NCAA Division III representative and was to continue on the board until 2016. He also was part of the USILA All-America Selection Committee from 2011 to 2013 and has served on the NCAA Regional Advisory Committee from 2007 to 2010.

Sandler also was involved in the Saratoga Springs, N.Y., community, where Skidmore is located, formerly serving as a co-chair of the executive board for the Saratoga Partnership for Prevention, an organization dedicated to decreasing youth substance abuse.

“We have been incredibly fortunate that Jack has been such an integral part of our community,” Greene said. “I join others who will miss him greatly, and our thoughts are with his players, colleagues, and family.”

He is survived by his parents, Barbara and Lance, sister Makenzie and aunts, uncles and cousins. Services are being held Monday at Dodge Thomas Funeral Home in Glen Cove, N.Y., on Long Island