Starsia likes title chances at Virginia


Dom Starsia was named lacrosse coach at the University of Virginia yesterday. From Charlottesville, Va., he immediately discussed the differences between his new job and the one he left at Brown University.

"When I would have walked into the first September meeting with players at Brown, I would have told them our goal was to compete for the national championship," Starsia said. "Over the years, that may or may not have always been realistic.

"We haven't played against Virginia since 1988 or '89, but I've recruited a lot of their guys. A realistic goal for the coming season is to line up and be prepared to win them all. In the end, we have a realistic chance in the [1993] playoffs."

Virginia, which won its lone NCAA title in 1972, didn't make the 12-team tournament field this season, and longtime coach Jim "Ace" Adams retired May 13. Starsia was mentioned as a possible replacement, along with Bill Tierney of NCAA champion Princeton. Both Ivy League coaches were interviewed by Virginia officials last week.

Starsia's stock rose in recent years, as Brown made its third straight NCAA appearance this past season, beating Loyola, 19-12, in the first round before bowing to North Carolina, 16-10, in the quarterfinals. His last Brown team went 12-4 overall, and in 11 years as the team's coach, Starsia compiled a 101-46 record.

A 1974 graduate of Brown, where twice he was named third-team All-American, Starsia spent seven years as an assistant coach in lacrosse and soccer to Cliff Stevenson. He has spent more than two decades in Providence, R.I., as a player and coach, but said Virginia's lure was strong.

"This is something I've thought about for a long time," Starsia said. "In the last couple of years, some good jobs have come open in the lacrosse world: Hopkins, [North] Carolina, Duke, for instance. Those didn't create the interest for us that Virginia did. It was always the opportunity that was the most captivating.

"With four young children, my family's a big consideration. I've recruited some boys from Charlottesville, and I couldn't find anyone to say something negative about the area."

A native of New York, Starsia didn't play lacrosse until he was a student at Brown, but he played on the U.S. national team in 1978 and was the Club Association Defenseman of the Year in 1979.

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