According to sources including the Virginia Lacrosse Alumni Network, Inside Lacrosse reported today that Dom Starsia—the man, the legend, the institution—won't be back as the head man in 2017. Which means Virginia men's lacrosse heads into the summer of 2016 facing a situation it has been able to avoid for the previous 25 years: searching for a new head coach.
Here are three possible successors to Starsia in Charlottesville.
Matt Brown, associate head coach, Denver Pioneers
Brown was one of the forces behind Denver's rise to national relevance as a player and has helped Bill Tierney vault the Pioneers into national dominance. He's the brains behind an offense that has produced back-to-back Tewaaraton Award finalists in Wes Berg and Connor Cannizzaro.
Pros: Offensive genius. Young. Experience as coach for international U-19 squads could be a serious recruiting plus.
Cons: Young. No head coach experience in college lacrosse. Bill Tierney protege.
Andy Shay, head coach, Yale Bulldogs
The Yale program under Shay has been a steady success the past six seasons. He's been the top Bulldog in New Haven since just after the 2003 season and has averaged more than 10 wins a season for the past six. His 2016 squad went 13-2 and won the Ivy League tournament before getting upset by Navy in the NCAA first round.
Pros: Proven head coach. Comfortable with stringent academic requirements. Strong recruiting background.
Cons: Defensive coach. First six years at Yale were not good.
Lars Tiffany, head coach, Brown Bears
Replacing Starsia with the coach of Brown, a former captain for Starsia, would have some poetic symmetry. Tiffany's Bears have won four Ivy League titles in his 10 seasons, including this year. Brown beat Shay's Yale squad, 14-12, in April of this year. With Brown still being in the tournament (facing Navy on Saturday), the timing may not work if Virginia is looking to have Starsia's successor in place quickly.
Pros: Wide-open, fast-paced offense can SCORE. Has former UVA goalie Kip Turner as an assistant. Success in tough academic environment. Strong recruiting background.
Cons: Older than some other candidates (almost 50). Success at Brown has been sporadic. Only reached NCAA tournament once before 2016, and lost in first round.