A Pre-Kindergarten - Grade 12 co-educational independent day school in Westchester County, New York

Zack Tax '10

Zack graduated from Rye Country Day in 2010 and continued his academic and baseball career at Columbia University. 

Originally from White Plains, NY, Zack Tax ’10 transferred to Rye Country Day School as a ninth-grade student. During his years at RCDS, Zack was a four-year member of the Varsity Baseball and Wrestling teams, captaining both in his junior and senior years. He was also a student manager of the NY State Champion Field Hockey Team. His other activities at RCDS included Peer Leadership and the Oral Proficiency Intern program.

The first RCDS baseball player to continue playing at the Division 1 level, Zack committed to pitch at Columbia University, and won the Rookie of the Year award his first year. During his summers, he competed for the Staten Island Tide of the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League, winning the ACBL Championship in 2011. His sophomore and junior summers, Zack pitched for the Danbury Westerners in the New England Collegiate Baseball League. This league is perennially ranked as one of the top summer collegiate leagues in the country, boasting over 200 players who have made it to the Major Leagues. 

Zack finished his career at Columbia with 42 appearances, 78.2 innings pitched, and a 9-3 record. At the end of his senior year, he received the Joseph Allen Award for inspirational leadership, sportsmanship, team and college loyalty, and service as a player. He graduated in 2014 with a B.A. in Political Science.

After Columbia, Zack started his career in the Investment Banking Division of Deutsche Bank and then transitioned to its Wealth Management Division in 2016. While working at DB, he began pursuing his MBA at night at the NYU Stern School of Business. In January of 2020, Zack pivoted careers to commercial real estate working in a capital raising capacity for Bridge Investment Group. He recently started a new role as Head of National Accounts at Partners Group, a global private equity firm, in March of 2023.

Zack resides in New York City with his wife, Hannah, a fellow member of the RCDS Class of 2010 and a player on the aforementioned State Championship Field Hockey Team. They live with their dog, Hudson, and they are expecting a baby girl in June 2023.

How has your Wildcat experience as a student-athlete been influential throughout your life?

Rye Country Day is a strong institution that prepares its students to excel in college. Managing the high level of academics—paired with exceptional peers—while balancing an athletic schedule prepared me very well for my time as a student-athlete at Columbia University. Honestly, the start of my first year at RCDS was challenging, and then something clicked about halfway through the school year when the spring training trips were around the corner. I realized I had a community, friends, teammates, teachers who wanted to help me succeed. Finding that balance—the ability to juggle all aspects of being a student-athlete— was something I learned at RCDS, and it will be something I will carry with me forever. 

What is a highlight of your career as a student-athlete, in college or beyond?

Winning the Ivy League Baseball Championship in 2013 and 2014 is something I’m pretty proud of to this day. More specifically, I’m not just proud about winning; I am proud of the strong foundation that our teams hopefully laid for future Columbia baseball players. After I graduated, the team won again for a “three-peat.” Columbia has now won 5 of the past 8 Ivy League Championships and has appeared in 6 of the past 8. Now, that’s something I take immense pride in.

In 2013, we started a tradition that still makes me smile every time I see it: every time the team scores a run, they run down the line of the dugout slapping hands with everyone like a matador.

During the 2013 season, we had about a month between the Ivy League Championship and the NCAA Regional. So, we had the idea to build a bullpen bench so that we could see over the fence in right field while pitchers were warming up. With some help, my Dad and I built it in our driveway in White Plains then threw it on the back of my brother’s truck and drove it down the Henry Hudson and onto Baker Field. A bunch of the pitchers met us down there and we painted it the Columbia Blue. It still stands today 10 years later, and the pitching staff gets great use out of it.

Did an RCDS coach inspire you? How so?

I’d be remiss not to thank all the RCDS faculty (not only coaches) who inspired me along the way. To name a few: Cary Fuller, Rich Strean, Lauris Kahn (thanks again for tutoring me even when I was in college), Coach Knazik, Coach Nagashima, Coach Bingham, Coach Diaz, and Coach Antonelli. 

Here’s a small note and funny story: Coach Antonelli once made it possible for me to weigh in early so that I could attend a model UN conference in Philly and then wrestle in the FAA Championship later that day.

But there’s no denying that I wouldn’t be where I am today without Coach Lawrence. I wouldn’t have even heard of RCDS if it weren’t for him. Coach Lawrence is a pretty serious guy. Having played professionally, he showed me what it meant to be a professional: how to go about your business on the field and off the field; the dedication it takes; and the off hours and the amount of time and practice it takes when no one else is looking. Learning and seeing that firsthand from the time I was 12 or 13 years old really wore off on me. He's also a family man and that has also worn off on me. I’m very fortunate to have actually been part of the Lawrence Family for one of the summers I played for the Danbury Westerners. 

Was there a teammate or teammates who impacted your high school experience and/or served as a role model during your time at RCDS?

It's too hard to make sure I list everyone here, but during my first year, I had unbelievable mentorship above me. What was amazing about them is that they took me in, treated me as an equal, and wanted to make sure I succeeded as part of the team. I think it’s that teamwork mentality that made our RCDS baseball program so strong. 

Many of them ended up playing college baseball. It was a crazy roster: Brandon Nieuw (RCDS ’08, Colby Baseball ’12), Sean Bryant (RCDS ’09, Swarthmore Baseball ’13), Will Bain (RCDS ’08, Middlebury Baseball ’12), Evan Oleson (RCDS ’08, Williams Baseball ’12), John Wulf (RCDS ’08, Hamilton Baseball ’12), and Marco Blasetti (RCDS ’09, Manhattan Soccer ’13).  Special shoutout to Matt Duarte ’08, who didn’t end up playing college baseball, but was and is an unbelievable mentor and human being. 

With all that talent, these teammates all knew what it took to play at the next level. What a group of people to look up to as a first-year!

Once A Wildcat, Always A Wildcat!

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