|Alma Mater:||UMBC '77|
|Experience:||10th Year at SU|
One of the greatest coaches in the history of the NJCAA, Puls begins his tenth season as an assistant coach at Stevenson in 2014, serving as the team's defensive coordinator since head coach Paul Cantabene's arrival in 2005.
The Mustangs have had 13 defensive players earn All-America status the past five seasons. This past season, all three starting defenders were named All-American's including junior Kyle Holechek who was named to the first team.
Freshman goalie, Dimitri Pecunes was named Commonwealth Conference Rookie of the Year. All three stating defeders were also named to the Commonwealth Conference First Team.
The team had its first-ever shutout on April 6, 2013 where they defeated Alvernia 24-0.
Stevenson led the conference in penalty killing percentage, was third in caused turnovers ad second in goals against average.
After a record-setting season in 2009 in which the Mustangs won 17 games, advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Division III Men's Lacrosse Championship and finished the year ranked at No. 1 in the final USILA poll, Puls was named Assistant Coach of the Year by the Intercollegiate Men's Lacrosse Coaches Association.
That year, Puls coordinated one of the nation's top defensive units as the team finished ranked 10th in Division III in scoring defense, allowing opponents an average of just 6.89 goals per game. In addition, Two of Puls' defenders, Mike Simon and Evan Douglass received All-CAC honors.
Simon was also selected as a second team All-American and in 2010, was a member of the Major League Lacrosse champion Chesapeake Bayhawks.
The Mustangs have ranked in the top one-third of Division III in scoring defense in five out of the six years since Puls' arrival and in 2008, they ranked 10th in the nation in man-down defense, holding the opposition without a goal nearly 86 percent of the time.
Prior to Stevenson, Puls made his mark as a highly successful coach at CCBC Essex where he spent 22 seasons from 1983-2003. He won over 71 percent of his games, totaling a 213-90 career record while winning 15 Maryland Junior College Championships, 14 Region XX titles and the 1991 NJCAA national championship, becoming the first Maryland junior college to ever win the NJCAA title.
The Knights advanced to the NJCAA semifinals 14 times and finished as the runner-up on six ocassions.
Puls was named NJCAA National Coach of the Year in 1990 and 1995 and Maryland Junior College Coach of the Year 15 times, including eight-straight from 1988-95. He was named the McDonald's Challenge Cup Coach of the Year in 1983, a finalist for a coaching position on the U.S. National Team in 2002 and head coach of the NJCAA Region XX and NJCAA South All-Star teams.
A member of the U.S. Lacrosse Century Club for reaching 200 career wins, Puls has had 71 players named as an NJCAA All-American and three selected NJCAA Player of the Year while 10 former players have played professionally in the National Lacrosse League or Major League Lacrosse.
Puls has had 30 players selected as a scholar All-American and five who were named recipients of the James A. Newpher Award which recognizes outstanding academic and athletic achievement at CCBC Essex.
Off the field, Puls has served as president and publicity director of the NJCAA Lacrosse Coaches Association, director of the NJCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship in 1988, 1997 and 1998, chairman of the NJCAA All-America Selection Format Committee and member of the NJCAA National Tournament Format Committee.
In addition to his efforts with the NJCAA, Puls has also been a contributing writer for Lacrosse Magazine, a panelist for the United States Lacrosse Coaches Association and United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Coaches Association annual meetings and as as chief scout of the MLL's Baltimore Bayhawks in 2004 and 2005.
Puls currently resides in Ellicott City with his wife Cassie. The couple are the proud parents of three children, Tim, Meghan and Travis who is an All-ODAC selection in men's lacrosse at Virginia Wesleyan.