CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia head men’s lacrosse coach Dom Starsia has been awarded the 2011 F. Morris Touchstone Award as the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association’s (USILA) Division I Head Coach of the Year. Starsia becomes the first Virginia head coach to win the F. Morris Touchstone Award, which was first presented in 1958.
“I would not want these comments to get beyond the first sentence before I thanked my family, staff, the players and everyone who has an invaluable role in this group exercise,” said Starsia. “I would especially like to thank Marc Van Arsdale who has been with me most of these past nineteen years as a friend and colleague. I think everyone understands that championships and individual awards in team sports are the result of a coordinated effort of the committed and passionate participants. This past 2011 season was a testament to the perseverance and determination of everyone involved with the program.”
The accolade is Starsia’s third career F. Morris Touchstone Award, previously winning at Brown in 1985 and 1991. The Valley Stream, N.Y., native is now in a four-way tie for the most times being awarded in the history of the USILA honor. Richard M. Moran (Cornell), Robert Scott (Johns Hopkins) and Tony Seaman (Pennsylvania/Towson) share the honor with Starsia with three career F. Morris Touchstone Awards apiece. Only Starsia is an active head coach.
Starsia will enter his 20th season at Virginia in 2012 with 329 career victories, the most all-time at the Division I level, passing iconic coach Jack Emmer (326) with UVa’s 2011 NCAA Quarterfinal win against Cornell. His Cavalier squads have won four NCAA titles and reached Championship Weekend 13 times. He has won more games than any coach in the ACC and Virginia history, sporting a 228-72 (.760) record. In 19 seasons with Virginia, Starsia reached his 300th career game with the Cavaliers in 2011, fittingly it was the 2011 NCAA title game against Maryland at Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium. UVa’s efforts helped garner Starsia an ESPY nomination for Best Coach.
“I am proud to be the first Virginia head coach selected for this honor,” said Starsia. “That list includes some of the great names in our game and I am happy to bring attention to their achievements. Winning this award in 2011 marks the beginning of my fourth decade carrying a whistle and speaks to the length of a career and the number of outstanding players and staff I have worked with at both Brown and Virginia. I am just starting to get the hang of this and look forward to an exciting 2012 season ahead!”
Starsia currently serves on the NCAA Championship advisory committee, the USILA All-American selection committee, the Tewaaraton Trophy selection committee, as well as the ACC Sportsmanship Committee. He has been the president of the Men’s Council of U.S. Lacrosse, a member of the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Executive Committee and has coached in the North-South game twice. Starsia also received the USILA’s Howdy Myers Man of the Year Award in 2006.