CHICAGO – The summer cannot go fast enough for first year golf coach Mike Mandakas as he anxiously awaits his first season at the helm of the newly formed Saint Xavier University men's golf team. Mandakas has already signed five new players for the 2012-13 campaign since his February hire and believes he has a team in place that will compete well in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC). The recruiting class includes: junior transfers Kirby Brown (West Des Moines, Iowa/Kirkwood Community College/Valley), Brendan Ryan (Alsip, Ill./Moraine Valley Community College/Shepard) and Dalton Stevens (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Kirkwood Community College/Jefferson) as well as sophomore transfer Kyle Bahnick (Inverness, Ill./Carthage College/Fremd) and freshman Zack Trent (Lockport, Ill./Lockport Township).
"I'm very excited that Saint Xavier University has given me this opportunity to start the new men's golf program," said Mandakas. "Going through the recruiting process, I have been able to find a great group of transfers and freshmen who will represent this University well. I anticipate the quality of team that has been put together will match up very well with any NAIA program out there."
Brown played four years of varsity golf at Valley High School in West Des Moines, Iowa, before playing two seasons at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In two seasons with the Eagles, he qualified twice for the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II National Championships. Ryan played golf at Shepard High School in Palos Heights, Ill., during his junior and senior seasons before playing two more seasons at nearby Moraine Valley Community College. During his sophomore season, Ryan helped the Cyclones win the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference and finish 12th at the 2011 NJCAA Division II National Championships. Ryan earned all-conference recognition during his freshman year in 2010.
Stevens was a two-year all-conference player and team captain at Jefferson High School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, before continuing his career for two years at Kirkwood Community College. During his time at Kirkwood, Stevens was the 2011 NJCAA Region XI individual champion, a two-time national qualifier and selected to the NJCAA All-East Region Team. Bahnick was a two-time all-conference player at Fremd High School in Palatine, Ill., and competed during the 2009-10 season at Carthage College (Wis.) where he played in the first two rounds of the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW) Men's Golf Championship. Trent was a four-year letter-winner on the Lockport Township High School boys golf team.