James Purpura was hired as the next head coach at VMI on July 16th, returning to Lexington, Va., where he once served as an assistant for the Keydets, after a two-year stint as the head coach at DIII Arcadia. Less than a month after officially being hired, he has finalized his inaugural staff as the head coach of the Keydets.
Offensive coordinator Mikey Herring is the only assistant coach from the previous staff that has been retained. A 2019 Virginia grad, Herring was a big piece of the Cavaliers national championship team his season season, where he was a starting offensive midfielder.
During his first season as the Keydets offensive coordinator, Herring oversaw an offense that was ranked as the 66th scoring offense (8 GPG) and had the 53rd best team shooting percentage (.276) at the time the 2020 season was cancelled due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
Kevin Doherty will come with Purpura from Arcadia to VMI, taking over as the Keydets’ defensive coordinator. A 2019 Wagner grad, Doherty a starting defenseman for the Seahawks for two seasons. He played JuCo at Essex CC (Md.) prior to his two seasons at Wagner.
During the Coronavirus shortened 2020 season, Doherty led a defensive unit at Arcadia which held their opponents to 9.4 goals per game. The Knights’ defense also caused 11.7 turnovers per game.
Mark Cameron will join the Purpura’s staff at VMI as a volunteer assistant. Cameron is a 1995 graduate of VMI and still ranks as ninth all-time in saves. A former US Marine, Cameron served as the goalies coach at Mount St. Mary (Ny.) last season and was an assistant under Purpura during his inaugural season at Arcadia in 2019.
VMI officially announced all three as part of Purpura’s inaugural staff via Instagram on Friday evening.