ATLANTA – After leading the Tommies to their sixth MCLA Division II national championship and the second under his watch, St. Thomas head man Brian Gross has been named the recipient of the 2019 Flip Naumburg Award as MCLA Coach of the Year, which was announced on Monday.
Gross edged out College of Idaho’s Matt Gier for the national honor, which was selected by the MCLA All-American Committee.
By St. Thomas standards, this season got off to a slow start with the Tommies sitting at 2-2 after a pair of losses at Music City Judgement. After bowing to Minn.-Duluth for the second time in the Upper Midwest Lacrosse Conference (UMLC), UST carried the most losses (4) of the five-year Gross reign into the MCLA tournament.
The Tommies would not lose again on their way to the championship, which featured victories over No. 15 UC San Diego, No. 10 St. John’s, No. 6 College of Idaho and No. 4 Dayton.
“I'm truly humbled to receive this award in a year that saw so many coaches leading their respective programs to great successes,” Gross said. “This award is shared with the rest of my staff of Jason King, John Michael Coon, Sam Kepner and Tim Moulton, as well as our players for their commitment to the values and goals of our program.”
In his five years as head coach, Gross amassed a record of 71-12 (85.5%) along with a 15-4 conference record, an 11-1 mark in the UMLC tourney and a 16-3 record in MCLA tournament play.