One day in 1992, Dom Starsia, then head lacrosse coach of his alma mater Brown University, heard the news that Jim Adams was stepping down as the head lacrosse coach at the University of Virginia. Intrigued by a potential new coaching opportunity, Starsia went home and told his wife Krissy Starsia.
“I mentioned to my wife that Jim Adams was retiring and she said to me ‘I hope you will be very happy,’” recounts Starsia.
These were the words that Krissy Starsia said to Dom Starsia, implying that he could go to Virginia, but the family was staying in Rhode Island. She had always been his biggest supporter during their now 42 years of marriage, but her concerns over potentially uprooting their family were valid.
Dom and Krissy Starsia were the parents of four children, two with special needs, and at the time they had just made major strides in getting the state to provide the services that their youngest two children needed.
“I said to [the University of Virginia] this is going to have much more to do with my family than it’s going to have to do with lacrosse.”
However, the Starsias made the trip to Virginia and quickly realized that Charlottesville had even more to offer their family. Starsia accepted the job of head coach of the University of Virginia’s lacrosse team and would go on to spend 24 seasons in Charlottesville, becoming the winningest head coach in NCAA Division I history before his final season in 2016.
From starting as a player and eventual coach at Brown University to winning four NCAA national championships with the University of Virginia, Coach Starsia’s memoir I Hope You Will Be Very Happy recounts the life lessons that shaped his historic career.
“Coming up on 50 years in the game, I have had a number of friends and fans who told me I needed to write a book about a life in the game. Never quite convinced that my life was that interesting to begin with, I have become preoccupied with sharing my experience with those who might value and benefit from some practical observations.
What you will find within here are letters to players, parents and fans, a series on leadership that applies to both athletes and coaches, essays on the zone defense that carried us to the National Championship in 2011, a family situation that provided an opportunity to make strategic adjustments that led to another Championship in 2003, the language of lacrosse, the value of being a great passer and many others that recount personal stories and life lessons that have shaped my career.
My goal is that you will find something here that will help you on your journey.”
—excerpt from I Hope You Will Be Very Happy by Dom Starsia
I Hope You Will Be Very Happy is available in trade paperback ($19.99) or eBook ($4.99) editions on October 15, 2019 from Creator’s Game Books. Review copies available upon request.
Creator’s Game Books
132-B Industry Lane, Unit 7
Forest Hill, MD 21050
To learn more about Coach Starsia’s career, listen to Pro Lacrosse Talk’s interview with him.