Van Zanic - Head Coach
For the past 11 seasons, Van Zanic has handled the head coaching duties for Geneva’s softball team. During his tenure, Geneva has won more games than in any other 11 year stretch in school history. With a career mark of 303-198, Zanic has won more games than any other softball coach in school history.
In 2013, Zanic led Geneva to a 23-20 record, marking the ninth consecutive season that the Golden Tornadoes reached at least 20 victories, including seven of those seasons that reached over 25 wins. In doing so, Geneva also advanced to the NCCAA national tournament for the fourth time under Zanic’s leadership and its second consecutive trip to the PAC title game, which they won in 2012.
Zanic began his coaching career at Geneva as an assistant during the years of 2000 and 2001. He served as Geneva’s full-time sports information director for 15 years before taking over as interim athletic director in the summer of 2013.
Zanic has led the Golden Tornadoes to the post-season in ten of his 11 years, including four regional tournament appearances and four NCCAA national tournament stints and a pair of appearances in the PAC tournament in each of the last two years. During the first 11 years at the helm, 50 student-athletes honored with All-Conference recognition. In addition, 32 student-athletes have received academic honors, while ten players have been named NCCAA All-Americans. “I think more than anything else that we have accomplished, I am most proud of the work that has been done in the classroom,” Zanic said. “Our ladies are dedicated student-athletes, who take great pride in their academic career. This past spring our women registered a 3.2 team GPA, which is a great testament to the dedication our ladies have in the classroom.”
A Geneva graduate himself, Zanic completed his studies at Geneva in 1992 with a degree in Broadcast Communications. While with the Golden Tornadoes, Zanic spent four years playing baseball. A four-year starter at Geneva, he helped guide Geneva to four consecutive post-season appearances.
Zanic started his coaching career at the high school level as an assistant at Woodland Hills High School in the mid-90’s, alongside his father George Zanic. During his three years as an assistant, Woodland Hills qualified for the WPIAL play-offs in each of those seasons.
Zanic returned to his alma mater six years after graduating and has never looked back. “It is been a true blessing to be at Geneva,” said Zanic. “I am truly enjoying this opportunity to coach these young ladies every day. If anything else, they certainly keep you young.” Zanic and his wife Rebecca reside on College Hill with their two children, Zach (13) and Lexi (9).
Contact Coach Zanic by email at email@example.com.
Lis Schulz - Assistant Coach
The slogan better late than never certainly applies to one of the new faces on the Geneva coaching staff. Lis Schulz nearly attended Geneva College as one of its top recruits out of high school but ended up attending Westminster College for four years and became one of the best players to ever wear a Titans uniform. Having to deal with Schulz in the opposing dugout for four years was evidence enough for the Golden Tornadoes when an opening on the coaching staff was made available. Schulz graduated in 2011 from Westminster and is currently enrolled in the graduate program in New Wilmington. "It was truly heartbreaking when we didn’t get Lis to come to Geneva out of high school," says Zanic. "She had an outstanding career at Westminster and has a real desire to coach." Schulz began her coaching career during the 2012 season as an assistant at Westminster.
John Davis - Volunteer Assistant Coach
John Davis began his Geneva coaching career at the end of the 2012 season when he accompanied the Golden Tornadoes to Alma, MI for the NCAA regional tournament. Davis returned for his first full season with the Golden Tornadoes as a volunteer coach in 2013. Davis began his own college baseball career at Geneva where he spent the 1976-77 school year on College Hill. He finished his undergraduate degree in Business at Youngstown State University. The co-owner of Novak & Davis Insurance Agency since 1983, Davis is the father of Ashley Davis. He and his wife Diane have been married for 32 years and have three children and two grandchildren. Davis has spent 22 years coaching youth softball at the community level and five additional years coaching travel softball. Most recently, he served as an assistant coach at Springfield Local High School for five seasons. "What a wealth of knowledge Coach Davis brings to the table," says Zanic. "He is an absolute joy to have in our program and he is simply addicted to the game of softball. He has quickly become a team favorite and has been an outstanding addition to our coaching staff."