Former SMR Boys Lacrosse Coach John Sothoron Inducted into Maryland State Lacrosse Coaches Association Hall of Fame


Congratulations to former St. Mary's Ryken Head Boys Lacrosse Coach John Sothoron who was inducted into the Maryland State Lacrosse Coaches Association (MSLCA) Hall of Fame in early June. In 1989, Coach Sothoron started the lacrosse program at St. Mary’s Ryken, and developed the program into one of the most respected in the Washinton D.C. metro area.

Sothoron Coach  Crop2

Individuals are inducted into the MSLCA Hall of Fame for recognition of their outstanding achievements, noteworthy service, and exemplary character, which truly personify the great game of lacrosse, and for their dedication, commitment, and contributions to the growth and excellence of lacrosse in the Great State of Maryland.

"Coach Sothoron is a fixture at St. Mary’s Ryken and in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC)," said St. Mary's Ryken Athletic Director and Head Boys Lacrosse Coach, Jon Lombardo. "He was instrumental in helping SMR join the WCAC. He created the blueprint for success at SMR on and off the field with his willingness to outwork, overachieve and create an impact far beyond the lacrosse field. If you speak to any of his former student-athletes, it is very clear he taught a way of life, using the game of lacrosse. For so many, their first impression of St. Mary’s Ryken was Coach Sothoron and his demand to pursue excellence. “Be the Best” was the phrase his teams used to describe the culture he created and Coach embodied “Be the Best” in everything he did. This MSLCA Hall of Fame recognition is such an honor for him, his staff, student-athletes and family. Congratulations to Coach Sothoron from everyone in the SMR Community.”

Coach Sothoron’s lacrosse career began at Charlotte Hall Military Academy in 1964 where he became the starting goalie his junior and senior year.  He was named MVP of his high school team his senior year.  He went on to play at Towson State College for four years and was the starting goalie all four years.  He was captain and MVP of the team his senior year. He was an All American at Towson and played in the North South Senior All Star Game.  He was a member of the South Atlantic, Mason Dixon, All State, and Hero’s All-Star teams.  He was also an assistant coach in 1974 when the team won the National Championship.

He then became the head coach at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, where he took the new program to a #8 national ranking during his 6-year tenure. After leaving St. Mary’s he became the assistant coach at the University of Pennsylvania when they achieved a #6 National ranking in Division 1.

In 1989 he started the lacrosse program at SMR. After SMR joined the WCAC in 2004, Coach Sothoron's teams advanced to the finals or semi-finals in 11 of the 12 years that they competed, winning the WCAC Championship Game 13-12 over Dematha in 2007 before a crowd of 12,000 people at the University of Maryland. 

Sothoron Illustration

His overall record stands at 410 wins and 144 losses. He coached his three sons at SMR, who all went on to play in college.  His son, Reed will be inducted into the Towson University Athletic Hall of Fame in October of 2022.

More than 140 of his players went on to play in college and 31(23% of them) went on to be captains of their college teams.

Coach Sothoron is a member of:

  • U.S. Lacrosse Hall of Fame, Potomac Chapter
  • Towson University Athletic Hall of Fame
  • St. Mary’s College Athletic Hall of Fame
  • St. Mary’s Ryken Athletic Hall of Fame
  • MSLCA Hall of Fame

In 1997 and 2015 he was named “Lacrosse Man of the Year” by the NILA, is a recipient of the National “Carroll” award given to the High School Coach who has had the most influence on the young men that he coached.  He was named Washington Post’s “All Met” Coach of the year in 2000 and was voted coach of the year by the NILA that same year. The WCAC named him coach of the year four years in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2011. In 2015 his final year of coaching, he was selected the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association “Man of the Year”.

In 1995, Coach Sothoron was instrumental in starting the St. Mary’s County Youth Lacrosse League.

For more information about the hall of fame, please visit:

  • Athletics
  • Boys Lacrosse
  • Girls Lacrosse
  • School News