By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, posted 11/6/08
Jimmy Oliver has been involved in his share of successful lacrosse programs before.
Now, as he sets to embark on a new head coaching position in a growing lacrosse area of northern Florida, he is confident he can once again find success.
Oliver, a Cabrini College graduate who has been a head coach at Archbishop Carroll and Marple Newtown and a top assistant at powerhouse Malvern Prep since 2002, recently accepted the job as head coach at Pedro Menendez High School in St. Augustine, Fla.
Oliver has been no stranger to top-notch scholastic lacrosse. He played at Long Island power Ward Melville and guided Marple Newtown to a 13-6 season in 2001 before coming to Malvern, which won a state title in 2006 and also reached the Eastern Pennsylvania Scholastic Lacrosse Association (EPSLA) finals in 2002, 2004 and 2008.
Oliver also has been active in a leadership role in Philadelphia lacrosse, serving as president of the EPSLA on two occasions while also serving as the vice president twice, as well as the secretary. He had recently taken over the job as EPSLA president before accepting the job at Menendez.
He said the reason for his move was actually based most on the desire of his family to settle in Florida after vacationing there many times. Oliver, who works full-time as a content director for locally-run FootballPower and LaxPower, said there is a need for experienced coaches in Florida.
“We really love the area and decided to pull the trigger,” Oliver said, noting that St. Augustine is north of Daytona Beach and south of Jacksonville. “Lacrosse didn’t play any part into the decision to move. The added benefit was that there were seven openings down there, and they are struggling for coaches in the area.”
Menendez was 2-10 last year, but has potential, Oliver said.
“They lost five games by a goal and they’re a very athletic group,” said Oliver, who also served as an assistant at Episcopal Academy in 1995. “As long as they’re athletic, you can work with that. It will take time; some day we can strive to be as good as Malvern.
“It is a growing area for lacrosse. Some of the athletic directors expect lacrosse to take over soccer within 10 years. The amount of youth programs and travel programs is growing every year; they just need coaches and officials.”
Tags: Malvern Prep