Brad Ross has been hired away from Navy to become head men’s lacrosse coach at Bryant University. Ross, who served three seasons as offensive coordinator for the Midshipmen, succeeds Mike Pressler at the Rhode Island school.
Ross played for Pressler at Duke then spent four years as his assistant at Bryant. Pressler announced his retirement after 16 years at Bryant and 37 seasons as a head coach overall.
Pressler, who ranks sixth in NCAA history with 382 career wins, transformed Byrant into a dominant program in the Northeast Conference. The Bulldogs captured six NEC Tournament titles to earn automatic berths into the NCAA Tournament.
Bryant athletic director Bill Smith indicated Ross came highly recommended by Pressler and noted his familiarity with the university and the program were big pluses. Smith said in a statement that he was able to “witness first hand” Ross’ coaching skills.
“Brad checks all the boxes: intelligence, work ethic, passion, character and competitive spirit,” Smith said.
Ross was associate head coach when Bryant upset Syracuse in the Carrier Dome to reach the NCAA quarterfinals in 2014. He left the program following that season to become offensive coordinator at Ohio State and spent five years with the Buckeyes.
When Joe Amplo was named head coach at Navy in June 2019, he lured Ross away to Annapolis to direct the offense.
“I thought Brad left the Navy offense in a better place. In terms of the foundation that has been put in place and what Brad did from a player development standpoint … I think the impact he made will be seen in the next few years,” said Amplo, adding that Ross also did an outstanding job on the recruiting trail.
Ross was a three-time All-American at Duke and graduated with 73 career wins, an NCAA record at the time. He played in the Final Four in four of five years with the Blue Devils and amassed 102 career points as a midfielder.
“As a player, nobody was tougher, more physical, more competitive and more determined than Brad Ross,” Pressler said. “As a coach, he is an incredible teacher of the fundamentals and very innovative. He is also an outstanding communicator and relationship builder.”
Ross spent four years at the professional level with Major League Lacrosse before injuries curtailed his playing career. He got into coaching at Brown University in 2010, helping the Ivy League program capture a national championship.
Ross played for Pressler and current Duke coach John Danowski and has worked under current Virginia coach Lars Tiffany and Ohio State coach Nick Myers in addition to Pressler and Amplo.
“Brad has played a big part in improving all the programs for which he’s worked,” Amplo said. “I think Brad has worked for outstanding people, is very bright, extremely deliberate and has a poise and intensity about him that head coaches need.”