PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Former Providence College lacrosse goalkeeper Ron Westgate ’06 has joined the men’s lacrosse staff as an assistant coach. Friar Head Coach Chris Burdick announced Westgate’s return to the program on Monday, November 7. Burdick also announced that JM Simpson has been elevated to head assistant coach, while long-time volunteer assistant Jim Mascia remains with the program to round out the staff for the 2012 campaign.
Westgate was the consummate student-athlete while at Providence College, and graduated with a bachelor of science degree in business management in 2006. A three-year team captain for the Friars, Westgate was awarded the program’s prestigious Spignazi/Berk Legacy Award for his work on and off the field that exemplifies the legacy of the program. Westgate helped lead the Friars to four MAAC Tournament appearances, including two MAAC titles, from 2003-2006. He also played a significant role in guiding the team to its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 2004, and another NCAA run in 2006.
Prior to Providence, the Forestdale, Mass. native attended Sandwich High School. At Sandwich, Westgate played for Brent Pearsall, and was a three-year letter winner in lacrosse. He was a Team MVP selection and member of the Eastern Massachusetts All-Star Team. He led his team to the semifinals of the State Championship in 2002.
Westgate began his coaching career in 2002 as an assistant for the Top Gun Fighting Clams in Acton, Mass. Top Gun is ranked year-in and year-out one of the top-five club lacrosse programs in the country. Eventually, Westgate was elevated to head coach. From 2008 to 2011, Westgate served as assistant lacrosse coach at Wellesley High School in Wellesley, Mass. Westgate oversaw the defense and goaltenders and helped lead the team to a 68-24 record in four seasons of play, including an undefeated regular season in 2011.
Westgate also has sales and business experience, having worked for Shamrock Sales, Commonwealth Lacrosse and Atlantic Sportswear.
Simpson will enter his second year on the sidelines as an assistant coach in 2012 and his first as the top assistant. Simpson came to Providence after two seasons as an assistant coach at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. While at St. Mary’s, Simpson worked with Head Coach Chris Hasbrouck. He was involved in all aspects of recruiting and day-to-day operations of the men’s lacrosse program. He was instrumental in coordinating the defensive playbook and goaltender instruction. Simpson also managed the substitution box during games.
Prior to his tenure at St. Mary’s, Simpson spent three seasons at Marist College. He began his time with the Red Foxes as an assistant coach under the direction of Head Coach Andy Copelan in the fall of 2005. Simpson was elevated to head coach in December of 2005 upon Copelan’s departure for Maryland. Simpson directed Marist during the 2006, 2007 and 2008 campaigns as a member of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC). During his time at Marist, Simpson was responsible for the daily operations of the program. He served as the offensive coordinator in 2006 and made the transition to defensive coordinator for the 2007 and 2008 seasons. Simpson was instrumental in the recruitment of MAAC Rookie of the Year Matt Teichmann and MAAC scoring leader Corey Zindel. He also played a significant role in fund-raising efforts.
Mascia is entering his 11th season with the program as a volunteer assistant coach. Mascia is the all-time leader at Providence with 256 career groundballs. He registered an all-time season high of 138 groundballs during his final campaign with the “black and white” in 1998.
Mascia was a four-year starter and defensive midfielder during his playing days as a Friar. In his junior and senior seasons, he served as the team’s face-off specialist. As senior captain and two-time All-MAAC Academic Team selection, Mascia finished first in face-offs won per game, groundballs per game and total groundballs recorded in NCAA Division I. He also finished among the top-10 in all other significant face-off statistics.
One of Mascia’s primary responsibilities as an assistant is to work with the Friars’ face-off specialists. He also assists with the offensive units.
The Friars will open their 2012 season against Lafayette on Saturday, February 18 in Easton, Pa.
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