BREVARD, N.C. – Brevard College Vice President for Strategic Planning & Athletic Director Juan Mascaro announced Wednesday the hiring of Eric McKinney as the fourth men’s lacrosse coach in school history.
“It is with great pleasure that I would like to announce the promotion of coach McKinney from interim to head coach,” said Mascaro. “He has been an integral part of helping to develop the men’s lacrosse program for the past two seasons and has all of the qualities and attributes that we look for in a coach.”
McKinney was originally named interim head coach of the Tornados for the final four games of the 2017 regular-season. Under McKinney’s leadership, the blue and white averaged just under 10 goals in their final four contests, while surrendering 14. Brevard displayed a renewed sense of worth and excitement for the game after McKinney’s promotion, losing several highly contested decisions the first to the Catawba College Indians at home on Apr. 08 12-10, and the second a 14-13 contest to the Lees-McRae College Bobcats in Banner Elk, N.C. on Apr. 11. Brevard fall 17-4 to the nationally ranked Wingate University Bulldogs on Apr. 15 in Wingate, N.C., but rebounded a week later at home, when they nearly knocked off the Mars Hill University Lions on senior day, falling by a close final of 14-11.
“I am honored and excited for the opportunity to remain a part of the Brevard College family,” said McKinney. “The past two years have been a tremendous journey, and I am eager to build a tradition of excellence in the new era of Division III competition. I would like to thank Dr. David Joyce and Juan Mascaro for entrusting me with this opportunity, and I would also like to express my gratitude to the greater Brevard community for being such a wonderful place for my family and I to live, work, and play.”
Additionally, the Tornados saw four players finish with 20 goals in a season, marking the second time in the programs four-year history that the feat has been accomplished. As seniors Ryan Taylor and Mathew Dropuljic tallied 20 and 26 scores, respectively. While the sophomore due of Jackson McKaig (Gainesville, Fla.) and Kyle Hunziker (Gainesville, Fla.) finished with 33 and 26 goals, respectively. While as a team the Tornados finished tops among the SAC with a 36.2 shot percentage, which also ranked third in the nation, while their 70.7 shot on goal percentage was also tops in the conference.
The 2017-2018 season will mark a first for the Tornados program as they transition from NCAA Division II and the South Atlantic Conference to NCAA Division III and the USA South. Under McKinney’s direction, the Tornados will storm into the 2018 season looking to pick up their first winning season in program history as the 2015 squad capped of the year at 8-8 overall.