After close to a month of speculation and message board hand-wringing, Virginia has chosen its successor for legendary coach Dom Starsia. UVA announced Monday that it has agreed to terms with Lars Tiffany, a former player for Starsia at Brown where he worked as the head coach since 2006, as the new men’s lacrosse coach.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“I’m excited to welcome Lars Tiffany to Charlottesville and the University of Virginia to lead our men’s lacrosse program,” Virginia athletics director Craig Littlepage said in a news release. “Lars is one of the country’s more innovative coaches. His program is based on the development of young men as student-athletes and pushing them to excel in the classroom, in the community, and in competition. This foundation, combined with an aggressive and attacking style of play at both ends of the field, has proven to be successful over the course of his coaching career. His vision for our program to annually compete for championships and achieve high academic performance is in alignment with our goals of Uncompromised Excellence.”
Tiffany will take the reins of the third program in his head coaching career with the decision to accept the Virginia job. He led the Stony Brook program in 2005 and 2006 where he owned an 18-13 record. That included an appearance in the top 20 nationally for the first time in the Seawolves’ history.
Tiffany took over at Brown in 2006 where he compiled 95-56 record. The Bears posted a 16-3 record this season and reached the NCAA Tournament Semifinals before losing 15-14 in overtime to Maryland. Brown won Ivy League titles in 2008, 2010, and 2015. Tiffany was named Ivy League Coach of the Year in 2015 and 2016. He was the New England Coach of the Year in 2008, 2009, 2015, and 2016.
Over the past two seasons, Brown has been one of the sport’s most entertaining teams with a fast paced and high-scoring style. In piling up 28 wins in 2015 and 2016, the Bears scored 547 goals with 341 assists. That’s 15.19 goals per game on 9.47 assists. Still, Tiffany wanted his teams to have a strong presence on the field as well.
“Blue-collar, edgy, tough,” Tiffany said in this US Lacrosse article describing Brown. “When someone plays Brown, we want them to remember what it feels like to play us.”
Prior to becoming a head coach, Tiffany played for Starsia at Brown where the team earned NCAA Tournament berths in 1987 and 1990. Tiffany was a two-time team captain and three-year starter on defense. After graduating in 1990, his coaching career started at Robert Louis Stevenson School in Pebble Beach, Calif., from 1990-94. He worked as an assistant coach of men’s lacrosse and co-head coach of the women’s lacrosse program from 1994-96 at LeMoyne College.
In 1997 and 1998, Tiffany was an assistant coach at nearby Washington & Lee University. The Generals went 13-3 and made it to the Division III NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals in 1998. He then worked at Dartmouth under Rick Sowell in 1999 and 2000 before becoming the top assistant at Penn State from 2000-2004 under Glenn Thiel. His head coaching career then began at Stony Brook.
“Stepping into the seat as the head coach of the Virginia’s men’s lacrosse program brings both a tremendous exhilaration and responsibility,” Tiffany said in a news release. “I am very fortunate to have Craig Littlepage entrust me with this program. It is also clearly understood that the coaches and athletes of Virginia lacrosse that have come before me have established a very high bar for measuring success in Charlottesville. My staff and I are eager to begin working with the men as we establish the principles and guidelines of our aggressive, fast-paced system of play that relies upon uncompromising fitness, competitive fire and a passion, and joy, for the game of lacrosse.”