We received a submission for our new “Coaches Board” last week. A JV team we had never heard of was looking for a couple of JV games. So we gave the coach a quick call to see what was happening down at “Oxbridge Academy.” The quick call turned into twenty minutes of “WOW.”
The first “wow” happened while we were speaking to this upstart JV lacrosse coach named Stan Ross. Running through the normal questions about the new JV only program we asked Coach Ross what the plans are for going Varsity at Oxbridge. He explained that he needed time to evaluate lacrosse in the area to determine how long it would take to become competitive at the Varsity level. He said he was kind of new to the South Florida lacrosse scene having recently been coach D-1 “up north.” Did we hear him say, “D-1?” Like D-1 NCAA college lacrosse? Yes, it turns out we were talking to THAT Stan Ross, most recently Defensive Coordinator for Navy, former head coach at Butler University, Assistant to Dave Cottle at Loyola, Defensive Coordinator for Tony Seaman at Towson, and on and on and on. JV coach at Oxbridge. Wow! We were intrigued. How does Stan Ross wind up coaching JV lacrosse at a 128 student school in West Palm Beach?
Oxbridge Academy isn’t just some new run of the mill private school, it is the brainchild of billionaire energy mogul, head of Oxbow Industries, winner of the 1992 America’s Cup, and world famous collector Bill Koch. The story of Oxbridge Academy is an incredible story and we recommend you check it out, but this is a lacrosse site doing a lacrosse story, so we are trying to stay focused.
If you’re a billionaire energy mogul, America’s cup winner, and a famous collector who just started a new school where would you go to hire a CFO? The US Naval Academy, of course. So the 128 student fledgling academy now has Robert Parsons, who spent the last 12 years as the Deputy Superintendent for Finance and Chief Financial Officer at the United States Naval Academy to look after things. We think Oxbridge is in pretty good hands. So when Bob Parsons started looking for a lacrosse coach, who does he call? Richie Meade, former Navy head coach, of course. Coach Meade referred him to Stan Ross and now the imminently qualified Stan Ross is the JV coach at Oxbridge Academy.
The hiring of Stan Ross is not the only indicator that Oxbridge is serious about Athletics. They also hired Dwayne McClain to coach the basketball team (also playing JV this season.) McClain was a former Villanova University star and Indianapolis Pacer. In addition to hiring the best available staff they are building facilities to match. Construction is set to begin on a brand new baseball stadium and a dual use soccer/lacrosse stadium. Currently, 80 of the 128 students at Oxbridge are participating in winter sports or other activity. This is a very involved student body.
Oxbridge is no sports factory, however. Bill Koch is an MIT grad as is his father. This group is serious about bringing a high level education to kids who desire it. Even if they can’t afford it. Eighty percent of the students at Oxbridge currently receive some amount of “needs based financial aid.” Almost all private schools have needs based financial aid available. What makes Oxbridge unique, however, is that there is no limit on the amount of aid available. Anyone who wants a very high level education, and can make it through the competitive application process, can attend Oxbridge. Regardless of his or her family’s financial situation.
It’s going to be very interesting to watch Oxbridge grow. The current student body is made up of mostly 9th grade students with a few 10th graders. According to the folks at Oxbridge the turnout for open houses for next year’s incoming freshman class has been fantastic. We expect to hear more from Oxbridge over the next couple of year, both as an institution and as a lacrosse team. If you happen to be up at the Orlando Lacrosse Open this weekend look for a big 6’5” guy with a bald head and say hello to Stan Ross, head JV lacrosse coach at Oxbridge.