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.
Thunder Select Director
Thunder Select Director and Coach Miguel Ortiz grew up playing lacrosse in NY where he fell in love with the game. Miguel went on to play lacrosse for the Auburn University club program where he developed an interest in coaching. Upon moving to Atlanta, Miguel coached club lacrosse for Surge. He was also Head Coach for the Mount Vernon Middle School team before taking on his current position as Head Coach of the Lovett Middle School program. Miguel has a strong interest in personal fitness, training and conditioning. He worked as a Personal Trainer for Life Time Fitness before launching his own personal training business called Conscious Athletics. Miguel’s exercise programs range from weight loss & nutritional workshops to sport specific training, and he absolutely loves what he does. Conscious Athletics has done very well thanks in part to the beautiful game of lacrosse. Coach Miguel believes that sharing his passion for health and fitness to help others enjoy healthier lives, as well as coaching young men to reach their potential as lacrosse players is the most gratifying thing he has ever done. Miguel also enjoys a great game of chess, cruising down the mountain on a snowboard, and most importantly, playing with his son. Miguel leads with tremendous positive energy and reinforcement. The game of lacrosse involves a great deal of discipline and physicality, which is fantastic because because both are needed to build great character. Thunder is excited to have Miguel on board as Thunder Select Director.
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.
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 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).
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 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
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.