Andy serves as the Director of Lacrosse Operations for Thunder lacrosse. In this capacity, Coach Pons assists our coaching staff and Board of Directors as he oversees and organizes our camps, clinics, annual evaluations and acts as recruiting coordinator in support of our high school coaches and players. Andrew is also the head coach at Woodward Academy. Andy was named Atlanta Metro South Coach of the Year in 2015. He has an extensive background in lacrosse being born and raised in Baltimore, MD. He graduated in 1998 with a degree in physical education from McDaniel College, where he was a three-sport athlete. (Soccer, Basketball, Lacrosse) He won the Athlete of the Year in 1988. He also was a three-sport All-Metro athlete at John Carroll and is a member of his high school Hall of Fame in three sports. Andy spent two years as an assistant coach under Hall of Famer, John Tucker, with the Boston Cannons of the MLL. He has spoken at numerous coach’s conventions and clinics around the country having recently presented at the US Lacrosse Georgia coaches clinic in January. Coach Pons has been married to his high school sweetheart Chrissy for twenty-seven years and has three children. His middle son, Mac, played lacrosse at the University of Maryland, where he and the Terps won the 2017 National Championship. Fear the Turtle!!!!
Defensive Instructor/ Coach
Coach Pons grew up in Bel Air, Maryland where he lettered four-years for Boy’s Latin. He helped lead the Lakers to the 2013 MIAA “A” Championship game and finished his senior season with 43 ground balls. At Maryland, he helped lead the Terps to one national title, three title game appearances, and four semifinal appearances. His senior class had an overall record of 61-14 (.813). Appeared in 64 games with 21 GBs and 18 CT.
Coach Zanone is from Setauket, New York and has been playing lacrosse and football since elementary school. Zach was a team captain in both sports at Ward Melville HS in Long Island, NY, consistently ranked top 10 nationally for lacrosse. He then went on to play lacrosse at State University of New York at Cortland as a defenseman. After college Zach returned to Ward Melville, where he was the JV Lacrosse Head Coach and Varsity Assistant Coach. He currently is the Varsity Head Lacrosse Coach at Alpharetta high school.
Coach Byrnes grew up in West Islip, NY and attended West Islip High School. He helped the Lions win the Class A New York State championship in 2010 and the Suffolk County title in 2011. At Marquette, Byrnes was named second-team All-American as a long-stick midfielder in 2016. Among the other awards he received was the most outstanding player in the Big East Tournament, during which he and his teammates beat the No. 1 team in the nation, the University of Denver, for the title. He also was named Big East defensive player of the year. He finished his Marquette career with 218 ground balls and 102 caused turnovers in 61 games. Byrnes became the first alumnus in school history to suit up for an MLL game, which came just four days after his final game at Marquette, a 10-9 loss to North Carolina in the first round of the NCAA tournament. That NCAA appearance also was a program first. He currently resides in the Atlanta area and coaches at Centennial H.S. in Roswell and with Thunder LB3 Lacrosse. Accolades:
USILA Second Team All-American
BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year
2X All-BIG EAST First Team
Major League Lacrosse third-round draft pick (No. 21 Florida Launch)
2X Team Captain
BIG EAST All-Academic (2015-16)
Marquette’s all-time leader in ground balls (218) and caused turnovers (102)