Sports Contact: J.T. Wilcox, Sports Information Director
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 10, 2019
HIALEAH, FL – ASA College-Miami continues to carve out its niche and cement its place as a premier destination for student-athletes, announcing the addition of men’s lacrosse to its athletic banner.
ASA Miami Director of Athletics Kenney Wilcox announced the addition of the sport Wednesday along with announcing the hiring of head coach Jason Conner.
“This is an exciting time for ASA College-Miami,” Wilcox said Wednesday. “As our school continues to grow and succeed, our athletic programs will continue to grow and succeed. Adding lacrosse was an idea that our administration has been mulling for a while now and this past December, [ASA College President] Jose Valencia and I met and we decided that this was the best time to birth our lacrosse program.”
“Just as it is with our football program, our lacrosse program will be the only junior college option for student-athletes in the state of Florida. So, it made sense for us to create another viable avenue for student-athletes in Florida – and around the country – to continue their athletic and academic careers,” Wilcox said.
Adding lacrosse gives ASA Miami seven men’s athletic teams – 13 programs overall. The Silver Storm lacrosse program will be the only men’s junior college program in the state of Florida; with the next-nearest program being in the Maryland area.
ASA Miami’s men’s lacrosse program will begin play in the fall of 2020 and will spend its first season as a “club team” – meaning the Silver Storm will play a full schedule of games against various colleges and other club teams but won’t be eligible for postseason play. All seasons following will be fully sanctioned by the NJCAA.
Finding the right coach to start the program was a process that Wilcox didn’t take lightly.
“We’re excited to have Jason as our inaugural head coach,” Wilcox said.
“He’s young, he’s hungry, and I was a big proponent of the fact that he’s spent time at a school with a similar mission statement to our own – so he understands what it takes to be successful at this level. Even though he’s young, we’re confident in his ability given that he comes from a family that has deep roots in the lacrosse community.”
Conner, 25, joins current ASA Miami head baseball coach Robert Martin as one of the youngest coaches in the NJCAA. Prior to joining ASA Miami, the Urbana, Maryland native spent time working as a graduate assistant at Keiser University and as an assistant coach at Boca Raton High School and St. Thomas Aquinas High School.
Conner also spent time working as an assistant with the SweetLax Lacrosse club team.
“I’m so excited for the opportunity to coach at ASA Miami,” Conner said. “I’m looking forward to the challenge of building the program – a program that makes better students and better athletes. I want to have a program and be a coach that is firm, fair, and consistent and to also be a coach that effectively communicates with my players.”
Essentially playing lacrosse for most of his life, Conner played collegiately at Virginia Wesleyan University and at Lynn University before electing just to finish his academic career at Florida Atlantic University – where he graduated with a General Business degree. In high school, Conner was a three-year starter at Urbana High School, was a part of its 2009 state title team in 2009, and was a finalist for the Kelly Award – which is awarded to the best high school lacrosse player in Maryland.
Lacrosse weighs heavy in Conner’s family. His older brother Joe Conner Jr. is the associate head coach at Dartmouth College and is regarded as one of the top offensive coaches in the sport. Both Joe Jr. and Jason played together at Urbana High, while his younger brother Justin - who is currently playing at Cleveland State University - played at The Landon School in Bethesda, Maryland. His dad, Joe Sr., currently serves as the director of boys’ lacrosse at Miami Country Day School in Miami Shores. His mother, Ximena, and younger sister, Jackie, don't play the sport but they too have probably forgotten more lacrosse than some have ever watched
Given his background, his experience as a player and coach, and the fact that ASA Miami college will be offering something to athletes in the Sunshine State that not many others can; Conner feels that things can get going in a positive direction in a hurry.
“The demand outweighs the supply in terms of lacrosse athletes that want to continue their careers in college and the number of schools that offer the sport,” Conner said. “So, we have a great opportunity to do something special here at ASA Miami. My goal now is to build and implement a system that will be effective long-term.”