Singular contributor to growth of lacrosse in St. Mary’s County, first and only head coach of St. Mary’s Ryken HS, WCAC championship coach, National Interscholastic coach of the year, All-Met coach of the year, WCAC coach of the year, Towson State graduate, All-America and North-South All-Star collegiate goalie, pioneer of college, high school, and youth lacrosse in southern Maryland.
Son of a national lacrosse Hall of Famer and Maryland star athlete, John Sothoron has built an enduring legacy as a player and coach over the course of a lifetime immersed in lacrosse.
An All-America goalie, team captain, and most valuable player at Towson State College, John led his team to three conference titles. In 2008, he was named to the list of top 50 all-time players at Towson, along with his son, Reed.
On the collegiate level, John served one-year stints as assistant coach at Towson (national champions) and University of Pennsylvania (#6 ranking) sandwiched around six-year head coaching duties at St. Mary’s College (#8 national ranking). He is a hall of fame inductee at both Towson and St. Mary’s.
Founder and the first and only head coach of the St. Mary’s Ryken program, John began a high school program in 1989 from scratch: no funding, no youth programs, and no opponents within 60 miles. That he was able to field a team in a once lacrosse-barren corner of the state is a testament to his determination. That he was able to lead his team from this corner to a championship in the fiercely competitive WCAC in 2007 is testament to his indefatigable work ethic, his commitment to team play, and his perseverance.
Now entering his 27th season as a head coach, John has amassed an impressive overall win-loss record of 314-109 (.742). At Ryken, he has coached eight players to high school All-America honors. His squads have yielded more than 80 players who have gone on to play college lacrosse.
John received the Gerry Carroll award in 1999, a national award named for his friend and fellow Ryken coach to honor coaches who excel in providing support and guidance toward the balanced development of young men who play lacrosse. This recognition was one of many tributes he has received for coaching: Tri-State Conference intercollegiate coach of the year (1979), National Interscholastic coach of the year (2000), Washington Post All-Met coach of the year (2000), WCAC coach of the year three times, and southern Maryland coach of the year five times. Named NILA Man of the Year in 1997, he has freely given his time for clinics and youth instruction over the past 20 years.
President and owner of Sothoron Homes, Inc., John resides with his wife Mary in Lexington Park, MD. They have three sons, all of whom played lacrosse through college: Jay, Reed and Tyler.