TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Arizona State men’s lacrosse program has added three new assistant coaches to the 2015-2016 coaching staff. Jared Franze (Niskayuna, NY/Hartford University), Robert Maddux (St. Paul’s School, MD/Gettysburg College) and Steve Abba (Niskayuna, NY/SUNY Cortland) will join head coach Joseph Thon (Penfield, NY/Mercyhurst) as the Sun Devils look to win the 2016 SLC Conference title and its first national championship.
A high school All-American and all-conference selection at Hartford, Franze will teach, direct and develop the midfield unit. Franze is confident that he will be able to maintain the program’s excellence and help ASU remain an offensively dominant team.
“ASU has an incredible offense reputation and an impressive track record," he said. "I couldn’t be more excited about getting the chance to work with the team; this truly is an incredible opportunity. I’ve had experience playing in a variety of different offenses and believe my experience and knowledge can help give ASU that small nudge they need to push them over the edge and bring home the MCLA championship.”
A graduate of the St. Paul’s School in Maryland, Maddux graduated from Gettysburg as a two-time team captain, second all-time in goals and third all-time in points. He is a three-time All-American on attack and brings a wealth of knowledge and creativity to a strong returning attack unit at ASU.
“I will strive to be the best coach I possibly can by gaining a strong understanding of each players strengths and weaknesses," Maddux said. "in order to make them all better players. I want to create a competitive team environment where all the players are constantly trying to outwork one another while making each other better at the same time. I want players that can’t wait to get to practice or the gym each day, knowing that it’s going to be hard, but beneficial work. I plan to take time out of my day to do extra weight lifting, or shooting with the guys that want to keep getting better. Ultimately, I want to be a coach that the players want to work tremendously hard for, and in return I will work even harder for them.”
Abba is a graduate of Niskayuna High School and played at Hofstra and Marquette before graduating from Cortland. A standout defenseman at Niskayuna, Abba lead his team to the NYS Championship game his senior year. Abba will be working with an ASU defense that held opponents to 8.00 goals per game.
“My expectation for this season is to win a championship," Abba said. "Anything less would be selling this team short of what they deserve. I know what it’s like to prepare all year and fall short, but also what it’s like to put in the hard work and win it all. Bringing home the school’s first title is historical and I want to help these guys achieve that so they can have that for the rest of their lives.”
Thon expressed a high level of respect and confidence in his new coaching staff.
“These three guys are young, passionate and excited about the opportunity to coach at ASU," he said. "They bring great energy and enthusiasm to this program and we will thrive from that. I’m excited to have them join the program.”
Arizona State plays in the South Western Lacrosse conference and is coming off a 13-4 season with a 1 goal loss to eventual National Champion, Grand Canyon University in the SLC Championship game and a 1 goal loss to Virginia Tech in the MCLA Championships. ASU is a 6-time MCLA Semi-finalist and 3 time MCLA finalist, reaching the Championship game in 2014.