University of Virginia director of athletics Craig Littlepage announced Monday that a change in leadership of the men’s lacrosse program will be made and a national search to replace head coach Dom Starsia is underway. Starsia, who has won the most games in Division I men’s lacrosse history, was the head coach at UVA for 24 seasons and his squads won four NCAA championships and made 13 Final Four appearances. He was inducted into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2008, has won more games than any other men’s lacrosse coach in Atlantic Coast Conference history (274) and he guided the Cavaliers to six ACC titles.
“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.”
“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.”
Starsia finished his career at Virginia with a 274-103 record. His teams won ACC championships in 1997, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2006, and 2010 and NCAA Championships in 1999, 2003, 2006, and 2011. Starsia’s 375 total career wins as the head coach at Brown and UVA are the most in Division I history. He was named the USILA F. Morris Touchstone Division I Head Coach of the Year three times (1985, 1991, and 2011).
Before coming to Virginia, Starsia was the head coach at his alma mater, Brown University, where he compiled a 101-46 record over 10 seasons and led the Bears to two Ivy League championships and five NCAA Tournament appearances.
“In our search for the next head coach, we will be looking for a dynamic leader who clearly articulates a plan to build upon the tradition Dom and his staff created over the last two and a half decades and who can position our men’s lacrosse program to compete annually for ACC and NCAA Championships while also achieving success academically,” Littlepage said.
Starsia’s contract was set to expire in January 2017. The University will fulfill its financial obligation to pay him approximately $400,000 through January. Compensation owed to Starsia and any assistant coaches not retained by the next head coach will be funded from athletics department funds. The athletics department does not receive state funding.