In just two seasons in Blacksburg, John Sung has taken the Virginia Tech lacrosse program to new heights, including its first appearance in the NCAA tournament in 2018 as the Hokies advanced into the Second Round.
Sung’s Hokies have reset records for wins in a season, ACC wins, goals against average, point scored and goals scored in a single season and Sung, a former goalie, helped Meagh Graham set the program record for lowest goals against average in a season at 9.64 during the 2017 campaign.
In his first season in Blacksburg, Sung engineered the best turnaround in program history winning six more games than the previous season. In 2017, the Hokies won 11 games, equaling the tally of the 1999 squad and reaching double figure wins for the first time since 2012. The team set program records in several categories including ACC wins in a season, goals scored, and points scored.
Hired on May 27, 2016, Sung joined Virginia Tech after building the Winthrop University program from scratch beginning in May of 2011. He oversaw the program’s rapid ascent as a regional powerhouse after beginning competition in 2013. In the program’s third season, Sung led Winthrop to a 17-4 record, as the Eagles qualified for the NCAA Tournament after winning both the Big South regular-season and tournament titles. In 2016, Winthrop went 20-3, winning the Big South Tournament championship and advancing to another NCAA Tournament. The 2016 season marked the team’s second consecutive Big South regular-season and tournament titles.
The 2015 and 2016 Big South Coach of the Year, Sung formerly was the chair of the NCAA Division I Lacrosse Committee and also serves on the U.S. Lacrosse Convention Education Committee. His 2015 squad set Big South single-season records for points, goals (314), free-position goals (67), shots (633), shots on goal (459), ground balls (384), draw controls (312), and caused turnovers (213). In 2016, Winthrop scored 301 goals, including 58 free-position goals. The Eagles set Big South single-season marks for shots (662), ground balls (434), and caused turnovers (266).
In addition to compiling a 54-26 overall record at Winthrop, Sung led the Haudenosaunee Nation to the quarterfinals of the 2013 Federation of International Lacrosse World Cup held in Canada. The team finished in seventh place out of a total of 19 teams. He also coached the team in the 2009 Federation of International Lacrosse in the Czech Republic.
Sung’s ascent as an NCAA coach began at Division III Adrian College in Michigan, where he started the program from the ground up and compiled a 46-19 overall record. His 2011 squad started the season 1-4 before registering 15 consecutive victories to earn a berth in the NCAA Division III Tournament. After posting a 6-7 overall record in its first season in 2008, the program went 10-4 in 2009, 14-3 in 2010 and 16-5 in 2011.
Before beginning the program at Adrian College, Sung spent five years as the assistant women’s club lacrosse coach at the University of Michigan, setting the groundwork for that program to eventually become a varsity sport in the Big Ten. The Wolverines accumulated a 93-22 record during this tenure.
A longtime trainer of goalies, Sung has held various coaching positions with Birmingham Seaholm High School and the Detroit Lacrosse Club. He has been the assistant director of the Great Lakes Women’s Lacrosse Camp since 1997. In addition to his work at various levels in the lacrosse community, Sung has a wealth of sales and management experience in the private sector.
Sung was the starting goalkeeper of the Oakland University lacrosse team in 1997 and 1998 and was also a two-year captain. He was also member of two International Cup U16 championship teams in 1993 and 1994. He completed his degree in Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from Oakland in 2007.
Sung, who resides in Blacksburg with his wife Tina, has three stepsons; Darek, Devin and Zachary, and a daughter, Abby.