(Photo: Liesl Babicka/WCSN)
For the 2017 lacrosse season, ASU men’s lacrosse head coach Todd MacRobbie has added two new coaches to his staff.
Running the offense will be a familiar face in Justin Straker. Straker was the Sun Devils Offensive Coordinator in 2015 before taking the 2016 season off to achieve his masters degree. A former player at ASU, Straker coached a Sun Devils offensive scheme that averaged 12.65 goals per game in his final season. Straker hopes to take this offense to new heights this season.
“Expectations for the offense are hopefully bring a little more energy, a little more consistency to the offense this year,” Straker said. “We have a lot of young guys especially at the midfield, so looking for guys to step up, and then we have a lot of returners at attack. I think we are deep at attack this year so I’m excited to look at the leadership of Rhett Rogers and Jake Marthens and Tommy Carasco up top, so it should be a good year.”
“Coach Straker is just a phenomenal, knowledge IQ guy,” Macrobbie said. “Having him around will help these kids tremendously, he just has that drive and passion not only from playing the game but coaching the game, so having him around will be a tremendous benefit for all the offensive guys.”
Many upperclassmen have already had Straker as a coach. Senior captain attackman Rhett Rodgers reminisced about having Straker back on the coaching staff from when he was a sophomore in 2015. Rodgers also mentioned how the two played together in his freshman season.
“He (Straker) was a leader then,” Rodgers said. “He was more of a coach then on the field then anyway and so it’s a pretty natural transition I’d say having him back out here and it’s really nice for me because he gets how I play and he knows what motivates me and it’s nice.”
Another coach who MacRobbie added in the offseason is assistant coach Jason Wasson. The 2017 season will be Wasson’s first season with Arizona State.
Prior to joining the Sun Devils, Wasson was the offensive and recruiting coordinator at Curry College at the DIII level and the assistant coach at Clark University for two years, a place where he was all conference twice as a player. The Curry College lacrosse team set a record for goals and wins in a single season while Wasson was apart of their coaching staff. Wasson also coached the Curry College man-up unit that led the conference in total man-up goals.
“I was coaching back on the east coast, you know division three for the last three years and first impression is these guys can play,” said Wasson. “I mean you always heard rumors how good Arizona State is, and lived up to the hype, and everyone of these guys, all 50 of them can play.”
With the additions of Straker and Wasson, MacRobbie adds experience to the Sun Devil coaching staff. With a wealth of talent returning, production looks to increase especially on the offensive side of the ball in 2017.
“Well coach Wasson, he’s another very smart guy, I mean ASU law student, grad guy, you know coming in from a high education at Clark University.” MacRobbie said. “He is going to also help those offensive guys you know he brings a different knowledge to the game being a Canadian, so he has a different aspect of the game of terms and phrases and things that he does. He’s going to help tremendously our midfielders, our attack guys everywhere, game day stuff he’s going to be helping us with the box and picking up things from there.”