COLUMBUS, Ohio – Justin Tuma returns to the Ohio State men’s lacrosse coaching staff as an assistant coach, head coach Nick Myers announced Tuesday.
“I’m pleased to welcome Coach Tuma, his wife Giuliana, and family back to the Buckeye Lacrosse family,” Myers said. “He is a coach that has proved to be a difference-maker in all aspects of a program, and I’m excited to get back to work with him and know he’ll have an incredible impact on our program.”
Tuma most recently served as an assistant coach at High Point for the last five seasons, responsible for the coaching and development of all defensive personnel. He helped the Panthers to SoCon regular season titles in 2019 and 2021. In 2023, he guided the High Point defense to hold its opponents to a .779 clear percentage, the best in the country, and finish sixth nationally in caused turnovers per game (9.88). Tuma also coached and mentored two-time PLL All-Star and 2019 Rookie of the Year Tim Troutner and pro’s Chris Price and Grant Ammann.
“I am truly humbled and excited to return to the Buckeye state as a member of the Ohio State men’s lacrosse staff,” Tuma said. “My family and I are looking forward to being part of such an incredible university and community once again. I would like to thank head coach Nick Myers, deputy athletic director Janine Oman, and the entire administrative staff for providing me such an amazing opportunity. I would also like to thank Coach Torpey, the athletic department and players at High Point University for allowing me to be a part of the HPU family for five wonderful years. I hope to contribute to the growth and continued achievements, both athletically and academically, to the Ohio State men’s lacrosse program.”
Tuma served as the Buckeyes’ volunteer assistant coach for the 2018 season. With Tuma’s help, Ohio State’s face-off and goalie units excelled. In the X, Tuma molded Justin Inacio into the Big Ten Freshman of the Year. Inacio won over 60 percent of his face-offs and ranked No. 1 nationally among freshmen in face-off win percentage. He also coached redshirt freshman goalie Josh Kirson, who started the final six games of the year and had a 7.00 goals-against average in wins over No. 20 Michigan, No. 1 Maryland and No. 9 Rutgers.
“Words can’t describe how much myself, the staff and our student-athletes love Coach Tuma,” Jon Torpey, High Point head coach and three-time Buckeye Lacrosse captain, “These past five years, Coach Tuma played an integral role in taking our program here at High Point to new heights. His work ethic, loyalty, character and innovative spirt on the field and off are truly elite. I wish both Coach Tuma and Guiliana the best of luck on this new chapter of their life at Ohio State. There is no doubt in my mind that his talents as a coach and leader will have a great impact with the Buckeyes they are blessed to have this amazing person.”
Prior to Ohio State, Tuma worked with several areas of the Princeton program, specifically the face-off men, defense and ran the box on game days. Under Tuma’s guidance, Zach Currier saw a 13 percent increase in his faceoff percentage (from 43 percent to 56 percent, he also had 130 GBs) on his way to being the No. 6 overall pick in the 2017 MLL Draft. He is also likely to be a top five pick in the upcoming NLL draft. In addition, the Tigers saw in increase in their overall team face-off win percentage, improving from 46 percent in 2016 to 50 percent in 2017.
Tuma came to Princeton from Roanoke College, where he spent three seasons as an assistant coach and offensive coordinator, helping the Maroons to a combined record of 37-17. While at Roanoke, he coached 11 USILA All-Americas, 21 all-league selections and 29 league all-academic selections.
Tuma graduated cum laude from Roanoke in 2011 with a degree in business administration and a minor in economics. He was a USILA Scholar All-America, a three-time ODAC Academic Selection and the 2011 ODAC Scholar Athlete of the Year.
On the field he was a three-time USILA All-America and had the rare accomplishment of being named to the Tewaraaton Trophy Watch List as a Division III player during his senior season. Tuma was the 2011 ODAC Player of the Year and a three-time All-ODAC selection. He finished his career with 138 points (68G, 70A).
Tuma then earned a master’s degree in business management, graduating with merit, from Durham University in England, where he also played lacrosse. He began his coaching career as the defensive coordinator at Randolph-Macon in the 2013 season.