Head Coach Jon Fox and the Foothill Knights added another Orange County Chapter Championship to their collection this past spring giving them eight Chapter titles in 12 seasons since lacrosse became a CIF sport in 2006. Fox also picked up his 200th career win along the way.
The journey towards acquiring these accolades goes all the way back to 1999 when Fox started the club high school team at Foothill. Fox’s 18-years and counting with the Knights is unrivaled within the OC. No other boys’ lacrosse coach comes even close to matching his longevity.
Fox recalls winning five games in 1999, his first year. The following year, he led the Knights to eight wins and a second-place finish in the OCLA Club Finals. In 2001, the Knights won 10 games and claimed the first of four Orange County Lacrosse Association club championships. Fox also picked up to two State club championships along the way. And so an upward trend was born within the Foothill Lacrosse program, one that has yet to die out.
When asked if he thought when he started the program that he might still be coaching at Foothill all these years later, Coach Fox responded:
“Yes, in 2006, when the sport went CIF, a group of coaches and passionate and dedicated people around the county including myself were committed to having the sport grow right and keep it in schools. We didn’t want it to be like roller hockey that got CIF approved and was gone two years later. Having lacrosse in CIF and supported by the schools’ administration is an important piece for all the current and future student-athletes. So in 2006 I made the decision to commit to the sport full time.”
Coach Fox’s commitment, along with the help of other dedicated lacrosse pioneers, has been vital in growing a game which in 2006 was scarcely heard of, never mind understood, within the OC.
Lacrosse has endured many changes since becoming CIF sanctioned in 2006. Since then, the Knights have displayed an unrivaled ability to adapt to these changes. Coach Fox said he has had to adjust his coaching style somewhat in response to these changes.
“Yes, I’ve learned a lot since I started,” Fox said, “and I try to learn new stuff each year from my peers, from the college coaches, and from the players. Every year it’s a challenge to learn what your players will respond to and dial in how to best motivate them and help them to reach goals and be their best.”
This process of constant evolution has been the key component to the steady success of the Foothill boys’ lacrosse program, a success that has manifested itself not only within the Knight’s program, but with Orange County lacrosse in general. Kids are now committing to play collegiate lacrosse at rates once only dreamt of.
“I really like seeing all the OC kids that go to the next level at MCLA or NCAA (and professional) and keep representing Orange County,” Fox said warmly, “Many of them we’ve competed with or against since middle school, so watching these kids develop for seven-plus years and then keep it going is a really cool feeling and makes me proud of our whole lacrosse community.”
Coach Fox’s influence on Orange County Lacrosse has been integral to elevating the game to the level it is at now. His success has flourished as the sport has been adopted by the athletic youth of our county. The dedication and loyalty which Coach Fox and other pioneers of Orange County Lacrosse have displayed is something to be celebrated by members of the lacrosse community as a whole.