James Purpura-VMI Offensive Coordinator

James Purpura-VMI Offensive Coordinator

Purpura comes to VMI after previously serving as the offensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator at Queens University of Charlotte for one season. Under Purpura’s leadership, the Royals offense broke the school record for most goals scored in a season.

The Royals also finished with the second most wins in program history (11), made a SAC Conference Championship appearance and were ranked as high as No. 12 in the country. In one season, Purpura helped coach and develop six All-SAC selections, including both the SAC Player of the Year and SAC Scholar-Athlete of the year, as well as one MLL player.

“I would like to thank General Peay and Dr. Diles for this tremendous opportunity to be a part of such a distinct institution,” Purpura said. “I also would like to thank Coach Birsner for bestowing confidence in my abilities and I could not be more eager to assist him in pursuing his vision for VMI lacrosse. I look forward to being a part of the coaching staff as well as the opportunity to lead, mentor, and develop great young men in a culture committed to academic, athletic and social excellence.”

Prior to arriving at Queens, Purpura was an assistant coach at Frostburg State University during the 2015 season. Purpura helped lead a fifth-year program to their first national ranking in program history, ranking as high as No. 17 in the nation. The Bobcats finished with the most wins in program history with a 16-3 record and made their first CAC Conference Championship appearance. Purpura assisted with a defense that gave up the fewest goals allowed per game in program history (6.16), which finished sixth in the nation. Purpura helped coach and develop eight All-CAC selections and the program’s first three USILA All-Americans.

Purpura spent the 2014 season at SUNY Brockport as the offensive coordinator where he improved goals scored per game, shooting percentage, and the extra man offense. While with the Golden Eagles, Purpura also served as an assistant coach at the USILA Division III North/South Senior All-Star Game. Purpura helped coach and develop three All-SUNYAC selections and the programs first USILA Scholar All-American.

Purpura also coached Sweetlax for four years where he has helped develop and mentor multiple high-school All-Americans.

The Pittsford, New York, native began his collegiate career at Mount Saint Mary’s University before transferring to SUNY Geneseo. While at Geneseo, Purpura helped the Knights reach as high as No. 12 in the nation. Geneseo also made consecutive SUNYAC playoff appearances, including a SUNYAC championship appearance.

Purpura is a 2013 graduate of SUNY Geneseo where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in sociology. Purpura also earned his Master’s of Education in interdisciplinary studies from Frostburg State in 2015.

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