|Position:||Offensive Coordinator/Recruiting Coordinator|
James Purpura enters his third season on staff as the team's offensive coordinator and second as the Keydets' recruiting coordinator after being promoted at the conclusion of the 2017 season.
Under Purpura's offense in 2018, senior midfielder Wesley Sanders became only the 17th Keydet in program history to join the 100-Point Club as he finished his career with 102 points. Sanders also joined the 70-Goal Club at VMI, only the 13th Keydet in program history to achieve the rank. Freshman attack Ryan Perouty thrived in the system, leading the team with 29 goals for the season as he ranked second in the league in goals per game at 2.23 and ninth in points at 2.54 per game.
Purpura's promotion came after completing his first year on staff, where under his tutelage as the offensive coordinator, the Keydets offense improved in nearly every statistical category, including scoring the most goals per game in half a decade. Under Purpura's leadership in 2017, Sanders was named first team All-Southern Conference and freshman attack John Daniel was named to the Southern Conference All-Freshman team after guiding the Keydets' offense with 34 points.
Purpura came to VMI after serving as the offensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator at Queens University of Charlotte in 2016. Under his leadership, the Royal offense broke the school record for most goals scored in a season.
The Royals also finished with the second most wins in program history (11), made a SAC Conference Championship appearance, and were ranked as high as No. 12 in the country in Division II. In one season, Purpura helped coach and develop six All-SAC selections, including both the SAC Player of the Year and SAC Scholar-Athlete of the year, as well as one Major League Lacrosse player.
Prior to arriving at Queens, Purpura was a graduate assistant coach at Frostburg State during the 2015 season. Purpura helped lead a fifth-year program to their first national ranking in program history, ranking as high as No. 17 in the nation. The Bobcats finished with the most wins in program history with a 16-3 record and made their first CAC Conference Championship appearance. Purpura assisted with a defense that gave up the fewest goals allowed per game in program history (6.16), which finished sixth in the nation in Division III.Purpura helped coach and develop eight All-CAC selections and the program's first three USILA All-Americans.
Purpura spent the 2014 season at SUNY Brockport as the offensive coordinator where he improved goals scored per game, shooting percentage, and the extra man offense. While with the Golden Eagles, Purpura was named an assistant coach at the 2014 USILA Division III North/South Senior All-Star Game. Purpura helped coach and develop three All-SUNYAC selections and the program's first USILA Scholar All-American.
Purpura also coached Sweetlax for four years where he helped develop and mentor multiple high school All-Americans.
The Pittsford, New York, native began his collegiate career at Mount Saint Mary's before transferring to SUNY Geneseo. While at Geneseo, Purpura helped the Knights reach as high as No. 12 in the nation. Geneseo also made consecutive SUNYAC playoff appearances, including a SUNYAC championship appearance.
Purpura is a 2013 graduate of SUNY Geneseo where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in sociology. Purpura also earned his Masters of Education in interdisciplinary studies from Frostburg State in 2015.