Jon Birsner was named head coach of the VMI lacrosse program in June of 2015. The 2020 season will be his fifth at the helm.
He is the sixth head coach at VMI, which was reinstituted to the NCAA lacrosse ranks in 1983.
Over the past four years, Birsner has led the Keydets to 10 wins including four consecutive victories over Hampton University and the New Jersey Institute of Technology. In 2019, the Keydets enjoyed their best season in seven years as they earned four wins by defeating Hampton, NJIT, Manhattan College and Wagner College. Senior Kyle Walsh was named a First Team All-Southern Conference defender for a second straight season after leading the nation throughout the regular season in caused turnovers per game, creating 42 turnovers in 13 games for a 3.23 average per game.
In 2018, Walsh and faceoff specialist AJ Krstulovic were named All-Conference. Walsh finished second in the nation in caused turnovers per game en route to First Team All-SoCon honors while Krstulovic ranked 13th in the country in faceoff winning percentage (.596) to garner Second Team All-SoCon recognition.
Recent graduate Wesley Sanders '18, a two-time All-SoCon First Team honoree, became just the 17th Keydet in program history to join the 100-Point Club at VMI as he finished with 102 for his career. Sanders also joined the 70-Goal Club at VMI in his final game, one of just 13 Keydets in program history to achieve the feat.
Birsner, a native of Levittown, New York, spent the 2014 and 2015 seasons as an assistant coach at Southern Conference opponent Furman. In addition to serving as Furman's offensive coordinator, Birsner also served as the recruiting, travel, film, compliance and academic coordinator.
Under the direction of head coach Richie Meade, Birsner helped the Paladins to a 4-9 record in 2015, its second year of existence following a 1-12 inaugural campaign in 2014.
Prior to arriving at Furman, Birsner spent 2009-2013 as a coach at the Naval Academy Prep School in Newport, Rhode Island. He spent the last three seasons as head coach, where he compiled a 31-9 overall record, including a program-best 15-3 record and Post Graduate School championship in 2013. Coach Birsner coached, developed and mentored nine Division 1 All-Conference players, one All-American and one Patriot League Rookie of the Year.
As a former collegiate lacrosse player, Birsner played under Meade at the Naval Academy (2003-2006), Birsner was twice named an All-American while guiding Navy to three top 10 finishes, including advancing to the NCAA Final Four and Championship game in 2004. He finished his senior year by being named the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year, the Patriot League tournament MVP as well as being selected to try out for Team USA in 2006. Birsner ranks eighth on Navy's all-time points list (154), is fourth all-time in assists (105), and was voted team captain his senior season.
In August of 2015, Birsner was named to The Patriot League's 25th Anniversary Team in recognition of his accomplishments at Navy.
Birsner spent seven years (2006-2013) as an officer in the United States Navy as a surface warfare officer, serving in numerous division officer and company commander positions. His personal awards include the Bronze Star, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal (two awards) and Iraqi Campaign Medal as well as being a Fleet Marine Force Qualified Officer.
A 2006 graduate of the United States Naval Academy, Birsner earned a bachelor of science degree in economics. He is married to the former Elizabeth Dierdorff of Annapolis, Maryland, and are the proud parents of three children.