Lander head men’s basketball coach Omar Wattad has announced the hiring of Ben Mandelbaum as an assistant men’s basketball coach for the Bearcats for the 2020-21 season.
“I’m really fortunate to have Ben on staff,” said Wattad. “His abundance of relationships and ability to evaluate are major assets in recruiting. He’s extremely intelligent, very organized, and will be great with the day-to-day operations. He had a huge hand in player development as well as coaching down in Tallahassee and was instrumental to their success. His values and character align with the Lander way which made it a no-brainer decision.”
“I am so excited to be joining the Lander family and the community of Greenwood, South Carolina,” said Mandelbaum. “Coach Omar Wattad is a proven winner, having coached in a tremendously successful LMU program that reached multiple Final Fours and a national championship game. The opportunity to contribute to the Bearcat family and continue to help push the Lander program forward is something I’m enthusiastically anticipating. I am grateful to Coach Wattad for the chance and can’t wait to get to Greenwood and begin our journey forward.”
Mandelbaum comes to Lander after spending the last two seasons as the assistant men’s basketball coach at Tallahassee Community College. In his two seasons at Tallahassee, Mandelbaum assisted the Eagles to an overall record of 49-13, including a 27-6 mark during the 2019-20 campaign and the program’s first trip to the NJCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship since 2011. Mandelbaum’s primary responsibilities while on staff at Tallahassee were recruiting, academic coordinating, scouting, strength and conditioning, and day-to-day operations. Mandelbaum also helped nine different players move on to Division I programs. In 2020, Mandelbaum was named one of the 50 most impactful men’s JUCO basketball coaches in the country by Silver Waves Media.
Prior to his time at Tallahassee, Mandelbaum was a graduate assistant at the University of Alabama at Birmingham under head coach Rob Ehsan. Mandelbaum also served as the freshman basketball head coach at Stillwater Area High School in 2015-16 and was the head student manager for Minnesota in 2014-15.
A native of Carmel, Ind., Mandelbaum earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Minnesota in 2015 and obtained his master’s degree in exercise science from UAB in 2018.
Lander is coming off a 23-8 campaign that featured the program’s fifth Peach Belt Conference Tournament title, a school-record 14 PBC wins, and the sixth NCAA Tournament appearance in program history.