James Purpura enters his second season on staff as the team's offensive coordinator and first as the Keydets recruiting coordinator after being promoted at the conclusion of the 2017 season.
Purpura's promotion comes 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, junior attackman Wesley Sanders was named first-team All-Southern Conference and freshmen attackman John Daniel was named to the Southern Conference All-Freshmen team after guiding the Keydets offense with 34 points on 14 goals and team-high 20 assists.
Purpura came to VMI after serving as the offensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator at Queens University of Charlotte in 2016. Under Purpura's leadership, the Royals 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.