The Gilman athletic department was disappointed but also understanding when lacrosse coach John Nostrant announced he was stepping down late last week to become head coach at his alma mater, Washington College.
The Greyhounds didn’t have to look far to find their next coach.
Tony Incontrera, who served as an assistant under Nostrant this season in charge of the defense, officially accepted the position on Tuesday.
A graduate of Mount Hebron and Salisbury University, Incontrera spent seven seasons as head coach at Marriotts Ridge, leading the Mustangs to the Class 2A state championship in 2018 and two Howard County crowns.
After stepping down from the Howard County school in 2019, he joined the Gilman staff this season with the Greyhounds finishing 4-9 in Nostrant’s first full season at the helm. The Greyhounds lost to St. Paul’s, 8-7 in overtime, in the opening round of the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference playoffs on Thursday.
Incontrera is looking forward to the challenge that comes with competing in the what is deemed the country’s finest league.
“The MIAA is a conference like no other. It’s extremely competitive — every game is a winnable game and every game is also a losable game and you can’t take anything for granted,” he said. “It was really important to get this year under my belt, just from an experience standpoint as we move into the 2022 season. It will be more important for me to become even more embedded into the Gilman community and get to know the guys not only in the upper school, but also in the middle school and the lower school, so we can maintain that pipeline and make sure we keep all Gilman lacrosse players in house.”
Gilman co-athletic director Lori Bristow said the school did its due diligence in selecting a new coach, quick to find an answer in Incontrera. The search committee that helped hire Nostrant two years ago was asked for input, along with the current players on the team.
When Gilman hired Nostrant to replace longtime coach Brooks Matthews two years ago, Bristow said Incontrera was a finalist for the job. A requirement for all coaches at Gilman is that they also teach, and Incontrera taught history during his time at Marriotts Ridge.
“We’re super excited to have Tony here full time,” Bristow said.
“We knew what he brought to the table and having him here coincidentally to run the defense this season and to be able to see him build the relationships with the kids, it was an easy decision quite frankly.”
Before taking over the Gilman program, Nostrant coached at Haverford School in Pennsylvania for 28 years and turned the program into a national power. He compiled 488 wins and led the Fords to two undefeated seasons that finished with No. 1 rankings in the country.
With the pandemic shutting down the 2020 season after three games and causing a condensed season this spring, Nostrant had little time to put his stamp on the Gilman program.
A 1986 Washington College graduate, he was a three-time Division III All-American midfielder and 2007 inductee into the schools’ Athletic Hall of Fame.
“When John announced to the coaches and then the kids it came as a shock,” Bristow said. “But it’s an awesome opportunity for him and a high school coach doesn’t get that opportunity very often, especially at your alma mater. So it’s a once in a lifetime and we wish him all the luck in the world.”