VMI Lacrosse: Birsner adds two assistants to staff

VMI AthleticsVMI lacrosse coach Jon Birsner has added two new assistant coaches to his staff in preparation for the 2020 season. Billy O’Hara has been named the defensive coordinator and Mike Herring the offensive coordinator.

O’Hara comes from UMBC after serving as a volunteer coach for the Retrievers during the 2018-2019 campaign. During his time as a volunteer he was responsible for managing the substitution box during games, and helped with both the defensive and offensive side of the ball. As a volunteer he helped lead the team to an America East championships and first round appearance at the NCAA Championship tournament.

The Davidsonville, Maryland, native played at UMBC for four years, starting three of them as a long stick midfielder. He served as team captain of the UMBC men’s lacrosse program in his senior campaign of 2018.

O’Hara led the team in ground balls and was second in caused turnovers his sophomore year. He led the team in both categories his junior and senior years, finishing with 134 groundballs and 60 caused turnovers during his time at UMBC.

During his tenure as a Retriever, O’Hara served as a team representative of the leadership council and the big brother program.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in business technology administration in August 2018.

“Our program is stronger with the hiring of Coach O’Hara and Coach Herring,” Birsner said. “Both of these guys are incredible young men, leaders and accomplished players. They are both coming off championship teams largely due to their leadership and contributions both on and off the field. The cadet-athletes in our program are lucky to be taught, coached and led by such highly recommended coaches who have incredible futures ahead in this profession.”

Herring comes to VMI after playing four years at the University of Virginia. While at UVA, Herring started his junior and senior years at the offensive midfield position. During his four years the UVA teams accumulated 44 wins. As a senior the Cavaliers went on to win an ACC championship, their first since 2010, en route to claiming the national title, beating Yale for their first national championship since 2011.

During Herring’s time at UVA he accumulated 80 points, 34 goals and 46 assists. In 2018, he was second on the team in assists with 18. Herring also was awarded the Class of 1986 Unsung Hero Award for the 2018 season.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Virginia in May.


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