(July 22, 2014) TEMPE, Ariz. – Arizona State University Men’s Lacrosse announced that Joseph Thon of Rochester. NY, has been named as the new head coach.
Thon is a 2007 graduate of Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pa., where he was a two-time NCAA Division II lacrosse All-America selection, and team captain, Academic All-American, Scholar Athlete of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in 2007. He was selected in the fourth round of the 2007 draft by Major League Lacrosse Rochester Rattlers and spent two years on the practice squad. He most recently served as the assistant men’s lacrosse coach at Albright College in Reading, Pa. and prior to that was the assistant varsity boys lacrosse coach at McQuaid Jesuit High School in Rochester, NY.
“Joe is a dynamic coach who we feel is poised to continue the tradition of excellence both in the classroom and on the field that his predecessor Chris Malone established. We are confident that Coach Thon will help us maintain and build on that standard- of providing young men an environment that both fosters the educational opportunities provided at Arizona State University and allows them to pursue a national championship,” said Colleen Hayes, team GM and Faculty Advisor.
Thon was selected after an extensive nationwide recruiting process that yielded more than 60 qualified candidates, conducted by a search committee comprising representatives of all sectors of the ASU Men’s Lacrosse community: the Board of Directors, current team members, alumni, parents, ASU staff and faculty.
Jim Mirabito, alumnus, assistant coach and member of the Board of Directors led the search committee and echoed Hayes’ sentiments on the hiring of Thon: “Joe Thon has proved his personal commitment to excellence in lacrosse and education, at Mercyhurst as a student athlete and that of his players at Albright College. We looked at many highly qualified candidates during this extensive selection process and Joe impressed us as the right man to continue and expand on what we feel is the gold standard of MCLA lacrosse.”
“Before visiting, I was attracted to Arizona State University because of the quality of the academics, development plans put in motion under new Athletic Director Ray Anderson and the caliber of lacrosse program that Coach Malone built into a national power,” said Thon. “Once I arrived on campus for my interview and had the opportunity to meet the people involved with the team, I realized that the best part about this job would be the people I’d be working with. The love, support, time and dedication put into the program at all levels, from the Board of Directors down to the parents of players both past and present, invigorated and encouraged me to seize this incredible opportunity. Everyone truly cares about the success, both academic and athletic, of everyone on the ASU Men’s Lacrosse roster.”
Thon replaces Chris Malone who resigned this past spring after serving as the Sun Devils’ head coach for six seasons. The team posted an overall record of 93-23 during his tenure, including a 19-1 record this year. The 2014 Sun Devils entered the postseason as the number one ranked team in the Division-I of the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association. The team kept their perfect season until falling to the Colorado Buffaloes 13-12 in the National Championship Game. That was the Sun Devils’ third appearance in the MCLA Div.- I Championship game; losing in 2010 to University of Michigan (now an NCAA Div.- I program) and in 2011 to Brigham Young University. Under Malone, the Sun Devils reached the MCLA tournament every year and the MCLA Final Four for five straight seasons.