The lacrosse program at AU was in its second season, and Head Coach Jacob Ashton was prepared to get his boys to conference—until the season abruptly ended due to COVID-19.
Ashton grew up in Virginia playing many different sports. In his youth, Ashton played baseball and football. It wasn’t until high school that he decided to make the switch over to lacrosse. Ashton had always been a fan of physical sports and wanted to give something new a try.
“I fell in love with it,” Ashton said.
Outside of lacrosse, Ashton is quite the football fan. His favorite team is the Carolina Panthers. He enjoys watching sports on television and exercising. But, most importantly, he found his passion for lacrosse.
“I played all through high school and in college,” said Ashton. “I decided I wanted to pursue coaching out of college. I have been doing this for seven years.”
Ashton attended James Madison University in Virginia, where he studied sports management and minored in business and coaching. He graduated in 2013. Before coming to AU, he was an assistant lacrosse coach at Christopher Newport University.
“I was familiar with Anderson University looking to add lacrosse,” Ashton said. “Initially, the program was supposed to start in 2016-17 with the 2018 season being the inaugural season. I was coaching at Messiah College at the time and applied, but found out Anderson had pushed the start date back. So when they reposted the position I applied and was contacted accordingly.”
Ashton desired to become a head coach and deemed it important to work for a Christian university. Excited to get the new program going, he accepted the head coaching position in the spring of 2017.
Ashton himself was a midfielder. He had a chance to play all of the positions at one point but was happy with midfield.
“I was always a physical player,” said Ashton.
Freshman lacrosse player Colt Comiskey spoke highly of his coach.
“He wants us to succeed,” said Comiskey. “He pushes us at practice, but he really cares. He’s definitely tough on us, but he cares.”
Unfortunately, the 2019-20 season was cut short due to Coronavirus.
“It’s frustrating, but completely out of my control,” said Ashton.
Ashton was unhappy to only have one win on the season, but is hopeful there will be more wins when next season comes around.
Before the school switched to online learning for the remainder of the semester, Ashton’s goal was to get his boys to conference. Ashton was adamant that he would be able to get the guys ready for the postseason. He said that it would be doable with hard work and he hoped the guys would push to get there.
“I want them to set personal goals and team goals and I want them to work towards something,” Ashton said. “I’m not going to limit them in what their abilities are.”
Now that the season is over, the goal is to stop taking things for granted and to play every game as if it were the last. “We will learn and grow from our short season and then come back ready to go,” said Ashton. “I’ve received a lot of positive texts from a handful of the player’s excited to be back on the field and for the direction we are moving in. So, I’m encouraged to say the least.”