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!!!!
Coach Wallace grew up in Western Massachusetts where he was a 3-sport athlete at Minnechaug Regional HS in Soccer, Basketball, and Lacrosse. As a Lacrosse player, he was a 3-year starting Attackman, he helped guide his team to 3 Western Mass State Finals appearances was named 3x All-League, 3x All-Region, 3x All-State, 2x time team captain is the number 4 All-time leading scorer with 291 career points. Coach Wallace attended D-III the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth where he was a 4-year starter and scored 98 career points being named 2nd Team All-Conference in his senior year. Coach Wallace entered into coaching upon graduation at DIII Massachusetts Maritime Academy where he was the Offensive Assistant Coach. Coach Bwall continued his education and coaching career at DIII Springfield College as Graduate Assistant helping guide the Pride SC back-to-back NEWMAC titles and placed 14 players on the All-Conference team while earning his Master’s Degree in Higher Education. Coach Wallace moved to South Florida and was named Associate Head Coach at Gulliver Prep in Miami, FL. While at Gulliver, he posted 4 FHSAA Final Four Appearances, 4 District Titles, coaching 8 US Lacrosse All-Americans, 66 All-State players, 72 All-County players. Wallace moved to Marietta GA and was named HC at Lassiter HS. In one season at Lassiter HS, he earned the Region Coach of the Year, won the Region 2 Championship, GHSA State Quarter Finalist, 4 players named All-State, 6 players named All-County. Coach Wallace was named Director of Lacrosse at Centennial HS in Roswell GA in 2012. As Head Community Coach for the Knights he lead Centennial to 141-33 (.833%) record in 8 seasons. Reaching 6 straight GHSA State playoff appearances, 2019, 2018, 2017 GHSA Semi-Finalist, 2016, 2015, 2014 GHSA Quarter Finalist, Winning the 2013 State Championship. 3x Region Championships, 3x Region Coach of the Year. Under the guidance of Coach Wallace, 24 players named US Lacrosse All-Americans, 57 players named All-State, 64 players named All-Conference, 2 Atlanta Journal-Constitution Players of the Year. 2 Under Armour All-Americans (Senior Game), 1 Under Armour All-American MVP, 1 Warrior/US Lacrosse South Player of the Year, 1 Lax Records Player of the Year, 116 Scholar Athlete Award winners, 15 Senior Student Athlete Award winners, Pro Alumni; Nate Solomon. In 2019 Coach Wallace was announced as the Assistant Varsity Coach/Offensive Coordinator at Roswell High School. He joins the Hornets from Crosstown rival Centennial. Coach Bwall has been coaching club with Thunder in the metro Atlanta area for 10 years and is currently the Senior Director, as well as an Elite and National team coach. He resides in Roswell, with his wife Tara their daughter Greer and dog Luna.
Events and Training Director
Coach Alex Grew up in upstate New York in the Saratoga Springs area where he was a 3 sport athlete at Ballston Spa High School in Lacrosse, Football, and Wrestling. As a Lacrosse player, he was a 3-year starter in the Goal. In his 3 years Alex surpassed 600 saves and was twice named All section and as a senior captain he was voted to play for the NY state Section 2 all-star Game, as well as being voted as team MVP. Coach Alex first attended 8-time National champion and 23-time region 3 champion Herkimer county community college located in upstate New York. He helped guide Herkimer to 2 Region Championship games and 2 final four appearances. As a starter his Sophomore year he was voted Conference Goalie of the Year and named to the all-tournament team. After Herkimer, Coach Alex attended NCAA DIII Greensboro College located in Downtown Greensboro North Carolina. Coach Alex helped lead GC to 20 wins over 2 years. After Graduating with his Teaching degree in Physical Education from GC, Alex was hired as the first assistant in charge of running the Defense and Recruiting coordinator at his Alma Mater. Coach Alex Was hired in the Fall of 2014 as a Full-time staff member of LB3 Lacrosse as the Director of Peachtree City and the residential Goalie Coach. Coach Alex was also hired as the Head Community Coach at Starr’s Mill High School. In 3 seasons at Starr’s Mill, Coach Alex has guided them to 3 straight GHSA Tournament appearances.
Thunder Elite and Thunder National Program
Coach Lewis has been coaching lacrosse for over 25 years at all levels. In 2017, he was named U.S. Lacrosse High School Assistant Coach of the Year for the State of Georgia. He attended Norwalk High School in Norwalk, CT and graduated in 1982 as an All-State Defenseman. In 1983 he attended West Point Prep and was a member of the lacrosse team. Coach Lewis graduated Rutgers University 1987 and received a Master’s in Education at the University of Bridgeport. While at Rutgers from 1984-1987, he started as close defenseman all four years. He led his team to two NCAA tournament appearances. He earned honorable mention All-American honors for two years and participated in North/South Senior All-Star Game in 1987. Rick is currently an Assistant Coach for Defense at Lambert High School. In recent years, Rick has led the Lambert Varsity team to four state championship games and two championship titles (2016 & 2018). Prior to joining the Lambert staff in 2014, Rick had coached at St. Pius X Catholic High School 2007-2012 and also spent five years coaching at South Forsyth High School. Rick is actively involved in coaching youth and high school Lacrosse at all levels, most recently with the Atlanta Rage program (Lambert). Rick and his wife Theresa reside in South Forsyth with their three children: Ricky, an assistance coach at Army West Point, Erin, a UGA grad and Kyle, a freshman lacrosse player at Lynchburg College.
Scott Ratliff is a professional lacrosse player in the newly formed Premiere Lacrosse League, as well as a certified leadership and personal development coach who has worked with clients ranging from corporate executives to NCAA Division I coaches and teams. Scott played collegiate lacrosse at Loyola University of Maryland where he had an illustrious career highlighted by capturing the 2012 NCAA Division I National Championship. In both of his final two seasons at Loyola, Scott was voted as a team captain and earned NCAA All-American honors. As a Senior he was presented with the John R Mohler Award given to the schools top male athlete who excels in athletics, scholarship, and character. Over the course of his 6 seasons in professional lacrosse, Scott has amassed a number of accolades including:
4x All Star
2018 Dave Huntley Man of The Year
Member of Team USA Training Roster
Scott resides in Atlanta but is often on the road with the PLL, or growing the game in underserved lacrosse communities through his non-profit The Give & Go Foundation. He serves as head coach at Greater Atlanta Christian high school and runs off season clinics and club teams through Thunder LB3 Lacrosse Club. Scott is passionate about arming individuals and teams with the tools necessary to develop positive leaders and winning cultures.
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 Pat Luckhurst, brings 8 years experience coaching at camps, high school and doing private sessions. Currently the head coach at Milton High School, Luckhurst is a native of Connecticut who moved to Georgia as a high school student-athlete and became a two-time All-State lacrosse player at the Wesleyan School. He went on to captain the men’s lacrosse team at Lynchburg, earning All-ODAC honorable mention accolades and earning Academic All-American honors for three years. He graduated in 2011 and quickly began his coaching career.
OFFENSIVE INSTRUCTOR/ Coach
Coach Terry is currently the Director of Lacrosse at Harrison high school. He attended Columbia high school (Maplewood, NJ) where is he was a 2x All-State Selection. Terry also played collegiately at the Division 3 level, starting at Cabrini College (Radnor, PA) before transferring home to finish his career at Kean University (Union, NJ). He finished as an All Conference Midfielder.
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)
Coach Pat grew up in Peachtree City, and started playing lacrosse in 8th grade. After playing at McIntosh High School, Coach Cheney played in the MCLA at Georgia State University, being selected Defensive Captain as a sophomore. After graduation, Coach continued his love for lacrosse by serving as Head Community Coach at North Atlanta High School from 2011-2013, as well as coaching with Northside Surge.Prior to returning to North Atlanta for the 2016 season, Coach Cheney coached with Fairfield Youth Lacrosse (Connecticut), and served as the Defensive Assistant Coach for McIntosh High School. Coach Pat has spent his summers coaching travel lacrosse since 2015. During the day, Coach Pat teaches 9th grade English Language Arts at North Atlanta High School.
Coach Pritts, born and raised in NJ, played lacrosse and football for Bridgewater Raritan high school East and was captain of both teams. Coach Pritts was a highly decorated player at Bridgewater East playing for Hall of Fame Coach Chuck Apel (2008 U19 World Team Gold Medal Coach) earning two First Team All-League, two All-State and All-American Honors while leading his team to the state championship game his senior year. Tim was one of three NJ players who played for the National North-South high school All-Star team at Johns Hopkins University. He attended Rutgers University and was a four-year Varsity player and starting defenseman for three seasons. His senior year Tim was team captain of a squad that qualified for the NCAA tournament with big regular season wins over Navy, Johns Hopkins, Penn State and Army in and a first round NCAA tournament win over University of Virginia. During his senior year Tim’s team reached as high as a No. 2 regular season national ranking. Tim started his coaching career as a volunteer coach at Lovett where he was on staff for two State Championship seasons with Coach Dave Feroleto later came to Walton in 2006 as one of the Varsity Boy’s coaches. Tim helped Walton make its first appearance in the state playoffs in his first season with the team and won a State Championship in 2011. Tim has also coached at the Jr level in addition to coaching girls lacrosse at the Jr level and Varsity high school level having coached his daughter when she played at Wheeler high school. Coach Pritts started the first U11 team for Thunder and has been part of the staff since 2010. Coach Pritts and his wife Vivian live in East Cobb and have three children Vivie, Zac and Drew.
Curtis Gilbert was hired as Berry’s head men’s lacrosse coach in September 2013. Over his tenure, Gilbert has compiled a record of 54-27 (113-76 career record) and an SAA record of 24-9. Gilbert has coached 43 All-SAA selections, 50 SAA Academic Honor Roll honorees and two SAA Offensive Players of the Year. He also led the 2015 squad to a regular-season title. The 2017 season saw Berry College earn its first All-American with SAA Offensive Player of the Year, Quentin Johnson earning distinction. He was also named a Scholar All-American. Johnson followed Cory Hall and Jack Chase who both earned Scholar All-America honors under Gilbert’s guidance in 2015. In 2018, Gilbert was named SAA Coach of the Year and was selected to coach the USILA/Nike North-South game. Gilbert arrived from New England College in Henniker, N.H. where he led the Pilgrims to a record of 10-7 and a runner-up finish in the North Atlantic Conference in 2013. In 2012, he led NEC to a berth into the NCAA DIII Men’s Lacrosse Tournament after winning the program’s first North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Championship. Over his six seasons at NEC Gilbert had an overall coaching record of 59-49 and a conference record of 37-19. Gilbert’s teams played in four championship games over his six years at New England College and produced two All-Americans, the first in NEC’s history. Prior to Gilberts arrival at NEC the team was coming off of a 1-13 season. At NEC, Coach Gilbert placed sixteen players on the All-Conference team, eight All-Academic athletes, four ECAC New England All-Stars, two All-Americans, two USILA North/South game participants, one Scholar-Athlete of the Year, one Offensive Player of the Year, and two others drafted into the NLL Professional league. Prior to New England College, Gilbert was an assistant lacrosse coach at Denison University in Granville, Ohio. While at Denison, Gilbert helped lead the Big Red to an impressive 20 wins, two NCAC Championships and two NCAA Tournament appearances. Before Denison, Gilbert had stints as an assistant lacrosse coach at Washington College and Whittier College. Over two seasons at Washington College Gilbert led the Shoremen to a record of 28-8, a school-record 15-game winning streak, and an NCAA semifinal appearance. At Whittier, over two years he helped the Poets to a record of 21-3 and two national tournament appearances, including one NCAA quarterfinal and one NCAA semifinal appearance. Gilbert is a graduate of Washington College, where he was a four-year member of the men’s lacrosse team. While at WC, Gilbert was a member of the 1998 NCAA Division III national championship team and garnered All-Conference accolades. In addition to coaching lacrosse, Gilbert serves on various committees including the USILA Top 20 poll and All-American Committee. He graduated with a master’s degree in management and strategic leadership from NEC. Gilbert currently resides in Rome, GA with his wife, who also works at Berry, and his two daughters.
Coach Corrigan is a Thunder Lacrosse alum (Class of 2014) and played midfielder for four years at Lenoir-Rhyne. He led the Bears in assists with 36 and finished second on the team in goals scored (45) and total points (81) this season. Corrigan, a three-time All-SAC honoree (2016-18), was especially impressive in this year’s two playoff games as he totaled six goals and eight assists. The Alpharetta native was the first athlete in the club’s history to sign with a Major League Lacrosse Professional team (signed with the Atlanta Blaze).
OFFENSIVE INSTRUCTOR/ Coach
Coach Squires is the offensive coordinator at Greater Atlanta Christian school and helped lead the Spartans to the State semifinal in 2017 and State Championship Game in 2018 while coaching multiple All-State players. Previously Coach Squires was the offensive coordinator for Collins Hill in 2016. Another graduate of Lenoir-Rhyne, Coach Squires was a captain on the Bears first ever team in the spring of 2011. While playing for the Bears, Connor totaled 64 career points including 27 goals in 2013. Coach Squires was a member of the 2014 Bears offense that led Division II in scoring and shooting percentage. Connor graduated from Collins Hill where he scored over 100 goals in his senior season. Coach Squires was a big part of getting lacrosse started up in Gwinnet and was on the first ever Varsity team Collins Hill fielded. Currently, Coach Squires is getting his masters after graduating with a degree in Health and Exercise Science.
Defensive Instructor/ Coach
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.
Goalie Instructor/ Coach
Playing Experience: 12 years
University of Georgia
Coaching Experience: 8 years
Brothers of War
UGA Lacrosse Club
North Atlanta HS
Thunder (Buckhead, All-Stars & Elite)
Patrick, son of Marty and Jennifer Towner, grew up playing hockey at a young age and then made the transfer over to lacrosse in the 7th grade. He played for the first ever team for Cherokee Youth Lacrosse and soon learned lacrosse was what he loved. Towner then played for a travel middle school team in East Cobb called the Roosters where he was able to travel and experience good lacrosse in and out of the state.
Patrick is a 2011 graduate of Blessed Trinity Catholic High School in Roswell, Georgia where he was a three year Varsity Lacrosse player and captain. During his high school career, Towner was a two-time All-State Defenseman and led the Titans to their first ever playoff appearances in 2010(sweet sixteen) and in 2011(elite eight). He ended his high school lacrosse career playing in the 2011 Senior Bowl. Towner also was a three year letterman and captain for football at BT where he earned Fulton County Defensive player of the week his senior year. Patrick finished his High School football career playing in the 2011 Forsyth Rotary Bowl.
Patrick also played club lacrosse for Copperheads Lacrosse team for where he participated in (2) Dick’s High School National Championships, where they finished runner-up in 2009 and won the championship the following year in 2010. Towner was on the first ever Copperheads team and played with them for 5+ years in numerous tournaments, jamborees and showcases. Towner also was a part of the Adidas All-American team his junior year in 2010.
Patrick then played Division III Lacrosse at Berry College where he came in with an impact right away holding season, game and career records for caused turnovers. Towner also was a 3-time SAA All Conference player and SAA Defensive Player of the Week his senior year when he tallied 6 groundballs and 5 caused turnovers. Named Defensive Player of the Year in 2015 for Berry College finishing his career with 80 caused turnovers, 83 ground balls and 42 starts.
Towner graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Marketing in his 4 years at Berry College. He currently lives in Brookhaven, GA and works as an Account Manager in Norcross at Discount Waste, INC.
Patrick coached during his summers off at Berry College for FCA South in 2012-2013 and Thunder LB3 in 2014-2015 where he was able to help high school guys master their craft.
Coach O’Hara is Associate Head Coach at Northview High School where he also teaches and coaches football for the Titans. O’Hara came to Northview for the 2017 season from Bellport High School on Long Island where he served as the defensive coordinator. Previously as the Associate Head Coach, O’Hara has led a stout defense over the course of his three seasons at Northview that has included three trips to the state playoffs. Coach O’Hara is a graduate of Lenoir-Rhyne University where he was a 2-time captain and a 4-time All Conference Defender for the Bears. While at Lenoir-Rhyne he helped lead the Bears to a Conference Championship in 2014 and graduate with 112 career ground balls, which ranks 3rd in Bears history. Hailing from Bellport, NY, Coach O’Hara was a 2-sport star for the Clippers on the football and lacrosse field. He garnered all-conference recognition in both sports his senior year in 2010. He graduated from Lenoir-Rhyne with a degree in Physical Education.
Defensive Instructor/ Coach
Playing Experience: 8+ years
Coach Brian Michalec was a standout defenseman at Comsewogue high school. He went on to play NCAA Division II at Dowling College where he was a starter on the NCAA National Championship team in 2012.
Coaching Experience: 3 years
Comsewogue Varsity Boys Lacrosse Assistant Coach/ Defensive Coordinator- (2017-2018)
Suffolk County Assistant Coach of the Year- 2018
Ryan McKay enters his third season with the Piedmont men’s lacrosse program in the fall of 2019 after joining the program as an assistant coach in the fall of 2017. McKay’s offense produced record breaking numbers in 2019 as the Lions set a program record for points (291), goals (200), shots / shots per game (798 / 44.33) and shots on goal / per game (437 / 24.28). Piedmont claimed the 2019 USA South Tournament with wins over Methodist (11-6) and Huntingdon (11-10) while attackman Brady Jenks and midfielder Josh Cobbina earned second-team All-Conference honors In 2018, the Lions earned their first winning season and first nine win season as they earned a bid for the USA South Tournament. The Lions fell in overtime to Methodist. Prior to Piedmont, McKay served as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Millsaps. McKay helped lead the Majors to eight wins during his stint as an assistant including winning the first two contests of his coaching career. The win in the 2016 season opener was the first 1-0 start for the Majors in program history and the only time the Majors have defeated Piedmont. McKay’s primary responsibilities were working with the offense and man up while also working to create practice and game plans for the Majors. In 2016, he helped the Majors finish fourth in the country in caused turnovers per game. The Majors also had a pair of all-conference selections during McKay’s time with the team. Prior to being hired as an assistant lacrosse coach at Millsaps, McKay volunteered his time after graduation to continue helping the Majors from the fall of 2014 until he was hired in January 2016. He spent time working one-on-one with athletes on different facets of the game including stick work, dodging, and field awareness. As a standout student athlete for the Majors, McKay played attack and midfield as a four-year starter and three-time captain. He is the all-time assists leader in program history and is third in career points with 105. McKay posted his best season his senior year in 2014 with 27 goals and 30 assists. In 2014, McKay scored nine more goals than he had totaled in the previous three seasons and doubled the total number of assists he had in his career. He also finished in the top 40 in the country in assists that season. McKay was a two-time All-SAA Academic team member and two-time SAA Sportsmanship team honoree. While in college, McKay began coaching at MadLax Lacrosse serving as the Head Coach of the program in Madison, Mississippi for ages 7-18. McKay has served in that capacity since 2013 providing leadership and instruction to players to develop their skills both on and off the field. McKay is a 2014 graduate of Millsaps College with a bachelor’s degree in education and a minor in Spanish. He was also a dual sport athlete with the Majors competing in both lacrosse and basketball. He graduated from St. Pius X Catholic High School in 2010 and was a member of the men’s lacrosse team for three seasons.
Playing Experience: St. Pius X HS & Muhlenberg College
Lambert HS & MS
St. Pius X MS
Coach Kyle Lewis a former Lambert lacrosse standout will be heading into his sophomore season at Lynchburg. He played in 18 games with six starts and led all Hornet freshmen with 13 goals and 15 assists, adding nine ground balls.