Jason Miller just completed his third season as the top assistant on head coach Greg Cannella's lacrosse staff, where he works with the defense and face-off units at UMass. Prior to his arrival in Amherst, Miller spent three seasons at The United States Military Academy at West Point.
"Jason is a great part of our coaching staff," said Cannella. "He brings a lot of experience and knowledge and has learned from some of the great people in the game. He coached under Guy Van Arsdale, who coached me at UMass, and Jack Emmer, who holds the career victories record, and he helped get both of them to the NCAA Tournament. We hope he can help us continue the success we have had recently, and we are confident in his ability to lead the defense, goalies and the recruiting efforts."
In 2006, Miller coached UMass' defense as the Minutemen reached the NCAA Championship game for the first time in school history. It also marked the first time school from New England reached the National Championship game.
Miller coordinated the defense that held one of the nation's most powerful offenses -- Maryland -- to just five goals in the NCAA Semifinals allowing the Minutemen to advance to the final where they played No. 1 Virginia. UMass' defense held three of the Terrapins' top scorers without a point including National Attackman of the Year Joe Walters.
Miller coached two All-Americans in 2006 including first-teammer Jack Reid, who was a finalist for the Schmeisser Award as the nation's top defenseman. The hard-hitting Reid was a first-round draft pick in the Major League Lacrosse Draft in June 2006.
Jake Deane was also named an Honorable Mention All-American in 2006, as he doubled as a face-off man and long-stick defensive midfielder.
Miller worked to build UMass' defense into one of the nation's best, allowing just over eight goals per game. Miller cultivated three sophomore defensemen (Sean Krygier, David Von Voight and Brian Danvers) who rotated in the starting line-ups throughout the season in helping to secure a stingy defense in front of freshman sensation Doc Schneider.
In his two seasons at UMass, Miller has helped the defense to national rankings while coaching two-time All-American close defenseman Jack Reid. In 2005's run to the NCAA Quarterfinals, UMass' defense allowed just 8.81 goals per game led by Reid, Matt Garcia and Aaron Paskalis. Miller has also aided the emergence of defensive midfielders Jake Deane and Dan Whipple.
While at Army, Miller helped lead the Black Knights to a 24-20 mark in three seasons. Army captured two Patriot League titles, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1997 during Miller's tenure. Miller served under long-time Army head coach Jack Emmer, who eclipsed the 300-win mark in 2003 to become the sport's all-time wins leader.
Prior to his time at West Point, Miller spent one season as an assistant coach at the Rochester Insitute of Technology, under former UMass assistant coach Guy Van Arsdale. Miller helped the Tigers advance to the 2000 NCAA Division III Tournament, before falling in the quarterfinals to eventual national champion, Middlebury.
From 1997-99, Miller served as a graduate assistant coach at Springfield (Mass.) College, while completing his master's degree in athletic administration. Springfield captured the ECAC Division III championship in 1998. He also coached the running backs on Springfield's football team in 1999, helping the Pride reach the NCAA Playoffs for the first time ever. In 2004, Miller and former assistant coach Chris Gabrielli founded the Mid-Summer Classic, a high school lacrosse tournament held at UMass.
A native of Rochester, N.Y., Miller began his college coaching career at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa. Prior to that term, Miller spent one season coaching varsity lacrosse and junior varsity football at St. Edwards Upper School in Vero Beach, Fla.
Miller is a 1993 graduate of Springfield College, earning a bachelor's degree in sport management, while playing defense for the Pride lacrosse team. Miller, and his wife, Mary, reside in Springfield. The couple welcomed their first child, a son Liam on August 6, 2005.
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