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Dom Starsia officially will not be returning to Virginia lacrosse in 2017

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What a long, strange trip it's been

First he was out. Then he was back. Now he's out, and this time—it seems—for good.

The UVA athletic department officially announced Dom Starsia's departure from the Virginia lacrosse program this afternoon. Athletics director Craig Littlepage:

"Dom Starsia is a Hall of Fame coach and I want to thank him for all he has done for Virginia men's lacrosse, UVA athletics, the University of Virginia, and the Charlottesville community," Littlepage said. "In addition to winning 73 percent of his games at UVA with multiple ACC and NCAA championships, Dom was committed to the development of student-athletes as his teams were cited for their sportsmanship and academic achievements. I'm grateful for the opportunity to have worked with and learned from Dom.

"These decisions are not easy and Dom and I have had a number of substantive conversations over the last several weeks regarding the future of the program."

Based on the statement from Starsia, the decision was not entirely mutual.

"When our season ended, Craig informed me of his decision to make a coaching change," Starsia said. "I wanted to take this moment to thank everyone who has been so gracious to me and my family during our time in Charlottesville. While blessed to have been part of some great teams, this experience has always been about the people and the relationships. I want to thank the players and their families who have been such an important part of my life. I would also like to thank all the coaches and staff who have propped me up over a lot of years, and especially to Marc Van Arsdale, who was here when I arrived 24 years ago. What a joy it has been to coach with my son Joe these past three years! I am very proud of all that we have accomplished here at the University of Virginia."

The timing of the announcement could be related to the weekend's developments in the NCAA tournament. Notre Dame, Towson, Syracuse, and Navy were all eliminated, joining Yale, Air Force, Quinnipiac, Denver, and Albany as tournament participants whose season is now done.