UMass Assistant Coach Jason Miller Named Head Coach At St. John's
Sept. 7, 2006
QUEENS, N.Y. - Jason Miller, a former assistant coach at the University of Massachusetts, has been named the head coach of the lacrosse program at St. John's University, Director of Athletics Chris Monasch announced on Thursday. Miller becomes the third coach in program history and the second coach since the team was restarted two seasons ago.
"Jason brings the experience and leadership we are looking for in a head coach to help us continue to build our lacrosse program," said Monasch. "We were looking for a coach with a track record of success. Jason played a large role in the development of last year's UMass team that went to the NCAA Championship game."
"St. John's is a great university and I'm excited to be here," said Miller. "This is a tremendous opportunity for me and a great opportunity for my family to move back to this area. I'm looking forward to continuing the process Coach Sowell and Coach Chemotti began. There is a great foundation in place to build upon."
Miller comes to St. John's after spending three seasons as the top assistant coach of the UMass lacrosse program. While on the sidelines for the Minutemen, he worked with the defense and face-off units and helped lead the team to its first ever NCAA national title game in 2006. During the NCAA semifinal contest last season, the UMass defense held Maryland, one of the nation's strongest offensive teams, to just five goals. Under the tutelage of Miller, two Minutemen earned All-American honors, including Jack Reid, who was a finalist for the Schmeisser Award as the nation's top defenseman. Reid also was a first round draft pick in the Major League Lacrosse Draft in June.
"St. John's does not look like a two year program. It has been competitive in and out of the ECAC Lacrosse League, which in my opinion, is the best conference in the country," said Miller. "This is a credit to all the players on the team as well to the former coaches. I'm ready to continue to move forward and get back to business of recruiting hard and to get to the point of being more competitive in the league, and eventually win league games."
Prior to his time at Massachusetts, Miller coached at Army from the fall of 2000 through the 2003 season where he helped lead the Black Knights to a 24-20 record in three seasons. Army won two Patriot League titles and earned a NCAA tournament berth in 2003 for the first time since 1997. Prior to Army, Miller spent one season as an assistant coach at the Rochester Institute for Technology where the Tigers advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2000 NCAA Division III tournament.
From 1997-99, Miller served as a graduate assistant at Springfield College in Massachusetts while earning his masters degree in education with a concentration in athletic administration. In 1998, Springfield captured the ECAC Division III championship.
Miller played defense on the Springfield lacrosse team and graduated in 1993 with a degree in sports management.
"Jason impressed us with his commitment to developing student athletes," said Monasch. "He is dedicated to helping them achieve academically, socially and athletically."
Miller and his entire family have made a commitment to education. His father, Richard, is the President of Hartwick College in Oneonta, N.Y., and his mother, Barbara, is a former English teacher. Miller's wife, Mary, has been a school teacher on Long Island and in Massachusetts. The couple has two children, Liam (1) and a newborn daughter Maggie, who is one week old.
What They Are Saying About Jason Miller....
University of Massachusetts Head Coach Greg Cannella:
"We here at UMass are very happy for Jason Miller and his family. St. John's University is gaining a great person and coach and mentor. Jason will work extremely hard to move their lacrosse program ahead to another level. Jason has worked hard for this opportunity; I know that he and his staff will take advantage of the opportunity that presents itself!"
Former Army Head Coach Jack Emmer:
"After six years of coaching at West Point and the University of Massachusetts, Jason is ready to do a great job as the head coach at St. John's. He helped upgrade the program at West Point and helped lead the team to the NCAA tournament. He also made a tremendous impact at UMass on the defensive front, bringing the team to its first final four appearance and first championship game. I think Jason's ready and will do a great job. St. John's made a great choice in my opinion."
Rutgers University Head Coach Jim Stagnitta:
"Jason's a talented young coach and brings a lot of energy and excitement to the game. He's just a terrific person. I played against him and coached with him at summer camps. Jason has a great mind for the game, and he has learned well from some very competent coaches. He will do well as the head coach at St. John's and continue the job started by Coach Sowell."