Junior attackman receives highest individual honor in Red Storm program history.
Leaders of historic Red Storm senior class set to compete against nation's best.
Red Storm matches highest since win total since reinstatement in 2005.
N.Y.I.T. and Dominican College will play at noon followed by St. John's and Villanova at 3 p.m.
The Red Storm seeks its fifth-straight win in the neutral site matchup.
St. John's 16 Providence 13 Providence, R.I. April 20, 2013
St. John's 11 Villanova 13
St. John's 7 Hofstra 6 March 19, 2013
St. John's 20 Rutgers 13
St. John's 11 Syracuse 13 March 9, 2013
The 2013 season will mark Jason Miller's seventh year as head coach of the St. John's lacrosse program. Miller leads a Red Storm team that is coming off the most successful year in program history. St. John's finished 2012 8-7 (3-3 BIG EAST) and advanced to the inaugural BIG EAST Championship against three-time conference champion Syracuse after defeating then-No. 2 Notre Dame in the semifinals two days prior.
Coach Miller speaking to ESPNU following the victory over then-No. 2 Notre Dame in the BIG EAST semifinals.
The eight wins in 2012 was the highest total for the Red Storm since the program was reinstated in 2005. The Red Storm also finished the 2012 campaign ranked No. 20 in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll marking the first time in program history that St. John's concluded the season ranked inside the top-20. Coach Miller also led the Red Storm to victories over two ranked teams (No. 20 Georgetown and No. 2 Notre Dame) during the 2012 season.
The 2012 edition of the Red Storm became the first St. John's lacrosse team to win at Georgetown with a 13-12 overtime victory over the Hoyas. Trailing 12-10 with 50 seconds to play and Georgetown holding possession, the Red Storm rallied with two goals from Ryan Fitzgerald and Harry Kutner to force the extra period. Fitzgerald would connect once again in overtime to give the Red Storm a landmark victory that proved essential in qualifying for the first-ever BIG EAST lacrosse tournament.
As dramatic as the Georgetown victory was, it was the win over then-No. 2 Notre Dame in the BIG EAST semifinals that helped St. John's gain the attention of the national lacrosse community. In a nationally televised game on ESPNU, the Red Storm toppled the eventual national semifinalist, Fighting Irish, 8-7. It was the highest ranked opponent that a St. John's lacrosse team had ever defeated. Kieran McArdle led the team offensively with three goals and four assists on the afternoon and goalie Jeff Lowman stopped 13 shots.
Coach Miller on the sidelines for the first-ever BIG EAST Lacrosse Championship against Syracuse.
Many of Miller's players received personal accolades for their stellar 2012 performances. McArdle was selected Honorable Mention USILA All-American after totaling 28 goals and 32 assists on the season; becoming the first St. John's All-American since the 1986 season. McArdle and long stick midfielder Dillon Ayers became the first Red Storm athletes to earn first team All-BIG EAST recognition. McArdle led the BIG EAST in points and assists while Ayers led the conference in ground balls. Terence Leach and Lowman also garnered second team All-BIG EAST honors for the Red Storm.
Coach Miller also oversaw a program in 2012 that was excelled academically in addition to its athletic successes. The BIG EAST Conference recognized the St. John's lacrosse team with a Team Academic Excellence Award for the 2011-12 academic year. The team's cumulative 3.14 GPA ranked the highest of all seven BIG EAST member schools. St. John's also placed twenty student-athletes on the BIG EAST All-Academic Team for 2011-12.
Having coached six full seasons for St. John's, Miller is now tied with Villanova's Michael Corrado as the third longest tenured coaches in the BIG EAST. Only Notre Dame's Kevin Corrigan and Syracuse's John Desko have spent more time at their respective schools.
Coach Miller taking questions with Jeff Lowman at the BIG EAST Championship postgame press conference.
In 2011, Miller led the Red Storm lacrosse team through a rigorous BIG EAST and non-conference schedule to a 4-10 final record. St. John's took on six ranked programs during the year, which included eventual NCAA tournament quarterfinalists Syracuse and Notre Dame. The season was highlighted by a thrilling 9-8 victory over local, BIG EAST rival Rutgers at the Konica Minolta Big City Classic held at the New Meadowlands Stadium. Sophomore goalie Jeff Lowman finished second in the nation with an average of 12.64 saves per game.
The 2010 season marked the Red Storm's first in the newly formed BIG EAST lacrosse conference. St. John's finished 5-9 overall against a schedule that featured four NCAA tournament teams and the national runner-up in Notre Dame. The Red Storm defeated Rutgers for the team's first BIG EAST victory and senior Tom Manes was named BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week for his four-goal, one-assist performance. Senior Gavin Buckley was named one of 10 national finalists for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award.
Although St. John's finished with a 5-9 overall record in 2009, the team opened the season with four straight wins, including a 10-9 upset of the fifth-ranked Georgetown Hoyas. The win marked the first victory over Georgetown in the series history. Senior captain Dom DeNapoli was named All-ECAC First Team and the 2009 NCAA Division I Ground Balls Statistical Champion, as he finished the year with 119 ground balls. DeNapoli became the second St. John's player in as many seasons to be selected to play in the annual USILA North-South Senior All-Star Game.
In his second season at St. John's, Miller's squad once again posted a 2-5 league record, defeating Fairfield and Penn State. Senior Tim LaMare was selected to the ECAC's second team roster as a defenseman and eight players earned a place on the ECAC All-Academic Team, the most of any school in the conference. Once again, the Red Storm man-down defense was ranked as high as fourth nationally, and the Red Storm's face-off win-percentage was rated the sixth-best in the NCAA. The Red Storm experienced many milestones as Michaelsen was the first player in 18 years selected to play in the annual North-South Senior All-Star Game. He was also drafted by teams in both the National Lacrosse League and Major League Lacrosse, the only St. John's player to be drafted to either professional league.
In his first year at St. John's, Miller made significant steps in rebuilding the Red Storm lacrosse tradition. On March 31, 2007, Miller led the Red Storm to a 6-4 win over Rutgers, earning the first conference victory for the program since its reinstatement in 2005.
Miller's 5-8 overall record and 2-5 league record as a first-year head coach was a Red Storm lacrosse program-best thus far. Under his tutelage, the Red Storm was ranked as high as sixth in the country in man-down defense with at least seven athletes ranked among the NCAA top 100. With Miller at the helm, St. John's garnered its first ever all-conference honoree in then-junior Tom Michaelsen, an all-ECAC second-team selection.
Miller came to St. John's after spending three seasons as the top assistant coach at the University of Massachusetts lacrosse program. While on the sidelines for the Minutemen, he worked with the defense and face-off units, helping lead the team to its first ever NCAA national title game in 2006. During the NCAA semifinal contest, the UMass defense held Maryland, one of the nation's strongest offensive teams, to just five goals. The Minutemen's road to the national championship game was arguably the toughest in the history of the tournament, as Massachusetts defeated No. 2 Hofstra, No. 3 Cornell and No. 4 Maryland before facing No. 1 Virginia in the final, as an unseeded contender.
Under the tutelage of Miller, two Minutemen earned All-America honors, including Jack Reid, who was a finalist for the Schmeisser Award as the nation's top defenseman. Reid was a first round pick in the Major League Lacrosse Draft in June 2006. He was also the first first team All-America defenseman in UMass history.
Prior to his time at Massachusetts, Miller coached at the United States Military Academy from 2000-03, where he helped lead the Black Knights to a 24-20 record in three seasons. During that stretch, Army won two Patriot League titles and earned a NCAA Tournament berth in 2003 for the first time since 1997. Miller learned under one of the best mentors in the collegiate game's history as he assisted National Lacrosse Hall of Famer, Jack Emmer, the NCAA's all-time win leader with 326 career victories.
Before Army, Miller spent one season as an assistant coach at the Rochester Institute of 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 spent the first two years of his coaching career at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa., from 1995-97.
A native of Rochester, N.Y., Miller played defense on the Springfield College lacrosse team and graduated in 1993 with a degree in sports management.
Miller and his entire family have made a commitment to education. His father, Richard, recently retired as 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 lives in Rockville Centre, N.Y. and has three children, son Liam, daughter Maggie, and daughter, Catherine Grace, whom the couple welcomed to their family in June of 2010.