2019 Midwest Coaches Convention Schedule and Speaker List
Tom Mariano, the 2017 Northeast-10 Conference Co-Coach of the Year, completed his sixth season as the head coach of the Pace men's lacrosse program in 2019. During his successful tenure in Pleasantville, the Setters have posted a record of 57-35 (.620).
Mariano has a distinguished background as both a player and coach throughout his career. He was the assistant head coach, director of player personnel, and defensive coordinator from 2013 to 2015 for the Ohio Machine of Major League Lacrosse. Mariano helped lead the Machine to their first playoff berth in franchise history in 2014 before earning another playoff appearance with the best season in franchise history in 2015. In 2016, Mariano took a role with the Chesapeake Bayhawks as an assistant coach, offensive coordinator, and goalie coach. The Bayhawks finished tied for first place under Mariano, with attacker Joe Walters earning All-MLL recognition.
Mariano was named head coach and general manager for Major League Lacrosse’s Florida Launch organization ahead of the 2017 season. In his first year with the team, Mariano led the Launch to their first ever playoff appearance. His team featured All-MLL Defensive Player of the Year Tucker Durkin, as well as four top-25 players in the league.
Mariano’s college experience includes a successful career as the Head Men’s Lacrosse Coach at Sacred Heart University for 17 years. As the head coach, he oversaw the recruiting efforts, initiated the transition of the lacrosse program from Division II to Division I as well as the move from the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference to the Colonial Athletic Association, which is one of the premier college lacrosse conferences in the country, and the eventual move to the Northeast Conference. Mariano and his staff annually produced a team that was a strong influence in the community and also carried a 3.0 team GPA. He had a successful 2013 campaign as the NEC Coach of the Year as his team qualified for the 2013 NEC playoffs. In total, Mariano has coached 70 all-conference players throughout his collegiate coaching career.
Mariano received his Master’s Degree in Teaching with a concentration in Elementary Education in 2000 from Sacred Heart University. He is a 1994 graduate of Nazareth College in Rochester, NY with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Business Administration. While at Nazareth, he was a member of the 1992 NCAA Division III Men’s Lacrosse National Championship team.
Jim founded the MVP Development Group with partner JC Glick following a 30-year career as a college and professional coach. 27 of those years as the Head Coach. Jim continues to coach professionally in the Premier Lacrosse League with the Whipsnakes Lacrosse Club, where he won the first PLL Championship as Head Coach. He started his college coaching career in 1988 as the assistant coach at his alma mater the University of Pennsylvania. Following back to back NCAA tournament appearances that included a trip to the Final 4 in 1988 Jim was named the head lacrosse coach at Washington and Lee University. At the time he was the youngest head coach in the country. In his 12 seasons at the helm the Generals won 6 Old Dominion Athletic Conference titles and participated in 5 NCAA tournaments advancing to the quarterfinals twice and the semi-finals in 2000. Jim was named the ODAC coach of the year 4 times and left Washington and Lee in 2002 for Rutgers University as the winningest coach in Washington and Lee lacrosse history. During his time at W&L he served as the President of the Intercollegiate Lacrosse Coaches Association and launched his first business the MVP Lacrosse Camps.
Theresa Walton was named the first Women's Lacrosse Head Coach in Youngstown State University history in July 2019.
Walton, a native of Syracuse, N.Y., spent the past two seasons at VCU focusing on the defensive unit, goalkeepers and was as recruiting coordinator for Head Coach Jen O'Brien at VCU. The newly-formed program posted seven victories in each of Walton's two seasons with the school.
In 2019, VCU was 7-11 and went 4-5 in the Atlantic 10 Conference. The Rams' defense caused 187 turnovers in the 18 games. Individually, nine players caused at nine turnovers.
In 2018, VCU finished the year 7-11 overall with a 5-4 Atlantic 10 record. The team earned it's first Atlantic 10 Championship berth by defeating seven-time defending conference champion UMass in the regular season, halting their NCAA record 61-game conference winning streak.
Walton led a defensive unit that helped propel the team to its first winning record in conference and included the program's first wins over Davidson and UMass. The defense held opponents to single-digit goals four times in 2018, which also featured two overtime wins. The defense forced a school-record 192 turnovers with eight Rams causing at least 10 turnovers for the campaign.
Walton joined VCU after serving as an assistant coach at the University of Mount Olive. In her first two years at Mount Olive, the Trojans had an overall record of 27-9. In 2015, Walton helped guide Mount Olive to the Conference Carolinas Women's Lacrosse Championship as the team was ranked No. 9 in the year-end Nike/LaxMagazine Division II Women's Lacrosse Top 20 Poll, the highest ranking in program history.
A former member of the U.S. Women’s National Team, Mupo plays professionally in the Women’s Professional Lacrosse League (WPLL) for the New England Command, who kicked off their inaugural season in the summer of 2018. She won the first WPLL Championship as a member of the Command and led the league in goals. In 2016, she was a member of the Philadelphia Force and earned all-star status after she led the league in goals.
Prior to serving as an assistant at Stanford, Mupo spent one one season as an assistant at Stony Brook and two seasons with William & Mary. At Stony Brook, she helped the SeaWolves to a 20-win season and a No. 1 national ranking in 2018. Under Mupo, the Stony Brook offense led the country in points per game (29.28), scoring margin (+10.80), assists per game (11.23) and shot percentage (.547).
A two-time national champion as a player at Northwestern in 2011 and 2012, Mupo guided the Wildcats to four consecutive Final Four appearances. She served as team captain in her senior season and finished her collegiate career with 186 points (136g, 50a).
- 16 Seasons at the Professional Ranks
- 6 Time MLL All Star
- 11 Time Team Captain at the Professional Ranks
- 2015 US Lacrosse Ohio Hall of Fame Inductee
- 2014 Major League Lacrosse Champion – Denver Outlaws
- Most Career Face Off Wins in Major League Lacrosse History
- 2007 USA Indoor World Team Member – Bronze Medal
- World Record Holder for the Fastest Shot 2008
- Named “Newcomer of the Year” by US Lacrosse in 2006
- 4 Year Starter at The Ohio State University
- OSU Team Captain in 2003
- Academic All Big Ten 2003
- Big Ten Scholar Athlete 2003
- Only player in OSU history to lead the team in ground balls 4 straight years
- Buckeye Power Club Award Winner
- Sportsmanship Award Winner 2003
- Head High School Coach for 4 Years
- Assistant Coach Denison University 2004 (NCAC Champs
- Assistant Coach Harvard University 2008
- Assistant Coach The Ohio State University 2009
– 13 seasons professional lacrosse
– Head Coach Under Armour Underclass Midwest Team 2014
– Head Coach Warrior 40 2010, 2011, 2012
– FCA Coach
– Project 9.9 Coach
– Tri-Eight Coach of the Year
– 4X MLL Allstar
– 2X MLL New Balance Sportsman of the Year
– NCAA All American 2003 and 2004
– GWLL Conference Player of the Year
– First team GWLL selection 2002, 2003, 2004
– 1999 HS All American
Williams came to Ohio Wesleyan from Chatham University, where he spent the 2018 season as offensive coordinator and goalie coach. He helped the Cougars post a 7-8 record and place 3 players on the All-Ohio River Lacrosse Conference teams -- including the conference's Newcomer of the Year -- in the program's first year of varsity competition. Prior to Chatham, he was a graduate assistant at Lourdes University for 2 seasons, serving as offensive coordinator as the Gray Wolves compiled a 28-8 record. He also served as the goalie coach, academic coordinator and recruiting coordinator during his time at Lourdes.
He is a 2015 graduate of Aurora University, where he was a 4-year letterman as a midfielder for the Spartans. Williams graduated summa cum laude from Aurora and continued his education at Lourdes, earning a master of business administration degree.
Williams is a native of Mesa, Ariz.
Paige Messesmith begins her first season as head lacrosse coach at Ohio Wesleyan University.
Prior to OWU, Messersmith was an assistant coach at Dickinson for 4 seasons, working with the offense, draw team, and goalkeepers. She helped the Red Devils to 4 tournament appearances in the Centennial Conference, one of the most competitive leagues in NCAA Division III, coaching numerous All-American, All-Region, and All- Conference Selections. Off the field, she has been active in the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association, working with the organization's all-region selection and convention planning committees.
Messersmith began her collegiate coaching career as a graduate assistant coach at Catholic (D.C.) University, where in 2 seasons, she helped the Cardinals compile a 28-10 record, win a pair of Landmark Conference tournament championships, and make 2 NCAA Division III tournament appearances, including a run to the national quarterfinals.
Messersmith is a 2013 graduate of McDaniel (Md.) College, where she capped a stellar playing career by receiving Centennial Conference Woman of the Year honors. She was an All-America selection in lacrosse, won 5 all-region citations in lacrosse and field hockey, garnered all-conference laurels 7 times in lacrosse and field hockey, and was a 2-year team captain in both sports.
Zolchonock arrives on Grymes Hill following a two-year stint as an assistant coach at Monmouth University. In the first of his two seasons with the Hawks in 2018, Zolchonock worked on the same staff as McCutcheon, a former longtime MU assistant who recently completed his first year at the helm of the Wagner program.
Prior to his two years at Monmouth, Zolchonock served a two-year stint as director of lacrosse operations at Rutgers University. In his role with the Scarlet Knights, Zolchonock’s responsibilities included oversight of tournament and camps, coordinating road trips and working with the Rutgers equipment staff.
While a member of the Rutgers staff, the Scarlet Knights made an appearance in the 2016 Big Ten Championship game, recorded the program's first back-to-back 10-win seasons, notched wins over five nationally-ranked opponents, and reached the No. 1 ranking in both major polls in 2017.
Additionally, while at Rutgers, Zolchonock mentored the development process of Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) and National Lacrosse League (NLL) player, Jules Heningburg, a two-time All American and two-time First-Team All-Big Ten selection, who went on to play for the Whipsnakes Lacrosse Club of the PLL, as well as the NLL’s San Diego Seals.
At Rutgers, Zolchonock also aided the development of MLL players Kris Alleyne, RU’s fifth-ranked leader in all-time saves who now plays for the Dallas Rattlers, as well as Michael Rexrode (Denver Outlaws) and Christian Trasolini (Dallas Rattlers).
As a student-athlete, Zolchonock was a four-year letterwinner in lacrosse at Kean University where he excelled as defenseman for the Cougars, splitting time between playing on close defense and as a long stick midfielder.
Coach Wolford ended his 25th season as head coach with winning the 2016 State Championship. He begins his 42nd year overall with the Upper Arlington men’s lacrosse team as an Assistant Coach after retiring as head coach. Coach Wolford took over in 1992 when his older brother, Bill, departed to start the Worthington Kilbourne Wolves lacrosse program. Coach Wolford served as the defensive coordinator for five years under his brother, was an assistant for six years under then head coach Lee Spitzer, and served as a head coach at both Jones and Hastings Middle Schools. He is the fourth head coach in Upper Arlington’s 44 year history, 1973-2016. Out of season, Coach Wolford is an active member of UALA (Upper Arlington Lacrosse Association). In 1992, Coach Wolford was an assistant coach in the National North-South High School All-Star Game in Baltimore, MD. In 2000, Coach Wolford was an assistant coach to the Korean National Team in the World Games held in Perth, Australia. In 2003, Coach Wolford was the co-head coach for the Korean U-19 World Team that competed in Baltimore. Coach Wolford is two-time president of both the Ohio High School Scholastic Lacrosse Association and of COLCA - Central Ohio Lacrosse Coaches Association. During Coach Wolford’s tenure as head coach, Upper Arlington has won the Midwest ten times, won State 16 times and finished second in State seven times. Coach Wolford was named Midwest Coach of the Year in 1993, 1998, 1999, and 2004 and was Ohio’s Coach of the Year in 1993, 1994, 1997, 2002, 2004 and 2005. In 2000, Coach Wolford was honored at the National Coaches Convention with the Gerald J. Carroll Exemplary Coaching Award. In 2007, he was inducted into the Ohio Lacrosse Hall of Fame. Coach Wolford was a member of the Columbus Lacrosse Club for sixteen years, including a five - year stint as head coach. He is employed by Shaffer Distributing Company.
Rochester-born defenseman Donny Moss entered the MLL in 2010 and began career with the Long Island Lizards (now the New York Lizards). Prior to the start of the 2019 campaign, Moss had totaled 22 points (16 goals, three two-point goals, and three assists) in 93 MLL appearances. Donny has also collected more than 85 ground balls and caused 12 total turnovers during his career.
While at Herkimer County Community College for a year, Moss was named the First Team All-American and Region III Defensive Player of the Year. After his year stint at Herkimer, Moss transferred to Adelphi University and scored six goals, recorded six assists, and collected 39 groundballs—placing him second highest on the team—in the 2009 season, with eight of those groundballs coming in one game against Dominican College.
Moss attended The Aquinas Institute of Rochester in New York in high school where he played lacrosse and football. Moss won a football state championship his senior year and was also an honor roll student.
Alyssa Shaver will lead the relaunch of women’s lacrosse as the sport’s new head coach. Shaver comes to Urbana after two seasons as head women’s lacrosse coach at Lourdes University (NAIA).
Shaver posted a 16-18 combined record at Lourdes, and guided the Gray Wolves to a fourth place finish and a berth in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference this past spring. In 2018, she led the Gray Wolves to their first winning season in program history with an 8-7 mark.
During her time at Lourdes, Shaver produced one First Team All-WHAC and eight Second Team All-WHAC honorees as well as four conference Players of the Week.
Shaver's student-athletes also performed well in the classroom, as eight players were named to the WHAC All-Academic Team and four earned NAIA Scholar-Athlete honors during her tenure. She also had a player earn a pair of CoSIDA Academic All-District I First Team accolades.
Prior to Lourdes, Shaver spent the 2017 season as an assistant coach at her alma mater, Lawrence Technological University. She helped guide the Blue Devils to an 18-2 record and national runner-up finish.
Shaver also has prior head coaching experience, leading Bloomfield Hills High School (MI) for two seasons and Oxford High School for one, while spending three years at the helm of Grand Blanc High School. She has also been a head coach at the Cyclones Lacrosse Club since 2015.
Shaver was a standout player at Lawrence Tech. She was a two-time National Women’s Lacrosse League (NWLL) First Team All-American and earned First Team All-American honors from the NAIA in 2016. In 2016, she was named the NWLL Offensive Player of the Year as well.
Andy German was named the second head coach of the Cleveland State men’s lacrosse program August 7, 2019.
German had served as the Vikings' top assistant coach for the preceding four years, playing an integral role in developing the burgeoning CSU program. He had helped steadily build the program from the ground up, with the Vikings showcasing noticeable improvement from one season to the next.
Cleveland State had its finest season yet in 2019 with German’s assistance. The Vikings won seven of their final 10 games to close the year, doubling their win total from the prior season in the process. In doing so, CSU posted a winning record in just its third season of existence despite facing six teams among the top 25 in the NCAA’s RPI.
Serving as defensive coordinator, German’s defense finished among the top 20 nationally in scoring defense while also sitting among the top 25 in caused turnovers. German’s defense also factored significantly in the Vikings’ ride leading the nation in opponent clearing percentage (.707), edging out national champion Virginia. Only one CSU opponent cleared at a rate better than the national average in 2019.
Michael Caravana has been the head men’s lacrosse coach at Denison on two separate occasions. He began at Denison in 1990 and coached the team until 2005. He would return three years later and resume his post. Under Caravana’s direction Denison men’s lacrosse has become one of the elite programs in all of NCAA Division III. A 1983 graduate of the University of Virginia, Caravana was a four-time All-American attackman for the Cavaliers. He earned a bachelor's degree in education and was a captain during his senior season. Caravana led Virginia in scoring three times and in assists all four seasons.
Following graduation, Caravana spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Brown University, then returned to Virgina., where he served as assistant head coach under Jim “Ace” Adams before accepting the head coaching position at Denison in the fall of 1990. In 1998, Caravana earned his master’s degree in sport management from the United States Sports Academy. Caravana ranks second in all-time victories at Denison, trailing only his predecessor, Ferris “Tommy” Thomsen, Jr., who guided DU to 255 wins over the course of 25 seasons (1966-1990). In 1994 he was named the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association’s Division III Coach of the Year. He has also been the recipient of the NCAC Coach of the Year award on multiple occasions. In 2003 he began a four-year commitment as the assistant coach for the United States lacrosse national team which earned a silver medal at the 2006 International Lacrosse Federation World Championships.
He is a member of the Charlottesville Chapter Lacrosse Hall of Fame, the Ohio Lacrosse Foundation Hall of Fame and the Long Island Metro Chapter Lacrosse Hall of Fame.
Jeff Arneson recently completed his first year as head men's lacrosse coach at Wilmington College in 2018.
He stepped into the role prior to the 2018 season and led the Fightin' Quakers to a 5-9 overall record and 2-6 mark in Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) play. Arneson also mentored Jhordan Lang, who became the program's career scoring leader, in 2018.
Arneson comes to Wilmington from Thiel College (Pennsylvania) where he served as head men's lacrosse coach from 2011-17. He took over a program that won just two games his first season to guiding the Tomcats to consecutive 10-win campaigns his last two years. Thiel advanced to the Presidents Athletic Conference (PAC) Tournament in 2013 and 2014 along with appearances in the Ohio River Lacrosse Conference (ORLC) Tournament in 2015 and 2016. Arneson, who coached the PAC Most Valuable Player in 2014, garnered the PAC Coach of the Year honors that season.
In addition to improved success on the lacrosse field, Arneson's team's also improved in the classroom as the program's grade point average improved nearly a full point during his Tomcat tenure.
Arneson was a four-year letter winner at Wheeling Jesuit University, an NCAA Division II institution in Wheeling, West Virginia. He accumulated 28 points as a starting midfielder as a senior. Arneson, who graduated from Wheeling Jesuit in 2010 with a degree in business administration, was an All-State prep player at Wilmington High School and played with the USA Travel Team during the summer of 2008.
JL Holdsworth is a world champion powerlifter, published author and former University of Kentucky strength and conditioning coach. With over 30,000 hours of practical experience and competition best lifts of a 905 lb. squat, 775 lb. bench press, and a 804 lb. deadlift, JL is no doubt one of the strongest and most experienced strength and conditioning coaches in the industry.
JL has been the official speed and performance coach for the Major League Lacrosse, Ohio Machine, for the past 3 seasons. He is a highly sought after speaker and has presented internationally on many topics relating to human performance. He regularly consults with major collegiate, NFL and NHL programs such as The New York Jets, St. Louis Blues, University of Clemson & The Ohio State University.
In 2010 he founded The Spot Athletics and has built that small private training facility into two 20,000sq. ft. locations in the Columbus, OH area. Along with his facilities, JL is the Co-Founder of Reflexive Performance Reset (RPR), an injury prevention and performance system being used by many top sports organizations around the world.
Devon Rhodes returns for her second season as an assistant coach for the Ohio Northern women's lacrosse program.
Rhodes, a 2014 Yale University alumnus, received her undergraduate degree in American Studies.
While at Yale, she was elected the sole captain of the women’s lacrosse program, was a two-time All-Ivy Honors selection, and was awarded the Barbara Bowditch Award, the team’s most valuable player award.
Rhodes finished her playing career ranked 12th all-time at Yale with 135 career points, 13th overall with 101 career goals, and 15th all-time with 34 career assists.
Originally from Northport, New York, Rhodes attended Northport High School and played club lacrosse for the Long Island Yellow Jackets. In 2008 and 2009, she received First-Team All-American and Academic All-American honors.
Bill Wolford (BS OSU '80, MAE Otterbein '00) is the director of Max Elite Lacrosse and currently the assistant girls lacrosse coach at Worthington Kilbourne and a former assistant coach with the Ohio Machine of the MLL. He served as the boys head coach at Kilbourne from 1992-2006 and was the head coach at Upper Arlington from 1987-1991. He has won over 240 high school games and has coached on the college and international level as well. He also officiates at the high school and college level. Bill teaches in the Worthington School district. The Kilbourne girls won the Ohio state championship and the Ohio Machine finished with its best record and made the MLL playoffs in 2014. Bill is a 2015 inductee of the Ohio Chapter of USLacrosse Hall of Fame.
McLean Fitzmartin was raised in Central Ohio and a product of Resolute Lacrosse. He graduated from St. Francis DeSales and went on to be a four year, two-way midfielder for Wheeling Jesuit University. During his time at Wheeling Jesuit, McLean was a 2-time captain and was a consistent member of the Academic All-Conference team. He is now an assistant coach for Capital University Men's Lacrosse.