Wilkinson Adds Gongas, Fox To Menís Lacrosse Coaching Staff
“I could not be more thrilled to have Mike and Ethan joining our coaching staff at Marist,” Wilkinson said. “These are two individuals that I had targeted immediately to join us because of their tremendous work ethic and competitive drive. They will both be tremendous fits here and I know that they are excited to help us as we continue to build a great lacrosse program here at Marist.”
Gongas joins the Red Foxes after serving the past two seasons as the top assistant and offensive coordiat Sacred Heart out of the NEC. The Pioneers made their first appearance in the NEC Tournament in 2012, falling to Bryant, the top seed and eventual champions, in the semifinals. Prior to Sacred Heart, Gongas was at Presbyterian College for three years where he was the top assistant for the 2008 and 2009 seasons before being promoted to head coach for the 2011 season. He spent a semester in 2007, prior to Presbyterian, as the top assistant at Suffolk Community College.
Gongas graduated from Adelphi University in 2007, where he was an All-Conference and All-American player in his two seasons. He played his freshman and sophomore years at UMass-Amherst, where he advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals in 2005. Gongas was drafted in the 2007 Major League Lacrosse (MLL) Supplemental Draft by the Long Island Lizards and participated in their 2008 training camp. He signed a contract with the New York Titans of the National Lacrosse League (NLL) in September of 2007. He also played the majority of four seasons in the Canadian Box Lacrosse League.
“As a peer, I have always admired Mike’s hard work and dedication to his programs,” Wilkinson said about Gongas. “This is evident in both the passion for his players and also his tireless work ethic on the recruiting trail. He is someone I have always had a strong desire to work with and know he will be a great addition to the Marist lacrosse family.”
Fox is no stranger to Wilkinson and the Red Foxes, having just graduated in May after four very successful seasons in a Marist uniform. He appeared in all 58 games in his career, starting 56 of them. He finished his career with 104 ground balls and caused 53 opponents’ turnovers. A team captain as a senior, Fox earned a spot on the All-MAAC First Team after being selected to the Second Team his junior season. He led a stingy Marist defense in 2013, often drawing the challenge of guarding the opponent’s top offensive player. He responded by leading the team with 19 caused turnovers while scooping up 38 ground balls, tying for the second on the team. Off the field, Fox was a three-time member of the MAAC All-Academic Team.
“Ethan has a tremendous lacrosse intelligence and understanding of the game,” Wilkinson said of his former captain. “He is also as fierce of a competitor that I have encountered in my 10 years of Division I lacrosse as player and coach. He has all of the qualities of a great coach and has a very bright future in the coaching industry.”
Marist had a very successful 2013 season, finishing with a 10-4 record. The Red Foxes registered the most wins by a Marist team since the 2004 season and won a share of the MAAC Regular Season Championship with a 5-1 record in conference play. Seven Red Foxes were named to All-MAAC postseason team and Marist took home four major postseason awards – Connor Rice (MAAC Offensive Player of the Year, Joseph Radin (Rookie of the Year), Patrick Eaker (Co-Long Stick Midfielder of the Year) and Wilkinson (Coach of the Year).
What they are saying…
Paul Carcaterra, ESPN Lacrosse Analyst and Commentator
"The Marist College men's lacrosse program will greatly benefit with the addition of Ethan Fox as an assistant coach. Ethan's experience as a player and a coach in various platforms is profound. His ‘student of the game’ approach, interaction with players, and forward thinking has separated him from his peers. With Ethan joining the staff at Marist College, the future is certainly bright."
Seth Tierney, Hofstra men’s lacrosse head coach
“Marist lacrosse took a great step forward with the hiring of Michael Gongas. Coach Gongas is a tireless worker and recruiter, and will bring an immediate positive impact to the Marist program. Caoch Wilkinson has not just added a coach to his staff, but more importantly, a great person with tremendous values.”