Congrats and best wishes to Dawg Pounder emeritus Zach Kleiner '12, who landed the job of manager for Vanderbilt's men's basketball program this season. Zach was a fixture in the stands (and on the mats for the wrestling team) for four years at LM before taking his talents to Nashville. While he can't wear a superhero costume in his new role, he does manage to stay close to the action.
"It has been an unbelievable experience," says Kleiner. "Whether it's traveling with the team, hanging out with the other managers and players, or helping to rebound and workout with players."
Kleiner found out about the managerial opening through a Facebook post by another Vanderbilt manager. He followed up with an email and a few meetings later he was invited to join the team. Kleiner credits his Dawg Pound experience for inspiring him to pursue the opportunity.
"It really made the decision of becoming a manager and being surrounded by the game, much, much easier," says Kleiner, whose Commodores are 6-6 this season and open SEC play at home on Thursday against Kentucky.
Zach has kept tabs on the current Aces team and even made it back to catch a game over winter break. To the current Dawg Pound, he offers this advice:
"Keep doing what you're doing and get more underclassmen involved and wanting to go to games. This sets the foundation for the future of the Dawg Pound."
For Kleiner, who hopes to pursue a career in sports or medicine, being part of the Aces Nation legacy is something he'll always remember.
"Being in the Dawg Pound, or any large student fan section that cares that much about their basketball team, is something that not many high schoolers can say they've experienced, " he says. "There is nothing quite like screaming your head off with all of your best friends and peers."