We are quickly approaching the one week anniversary of Virginia hiring Lars Tiffany as the 17th head coach in program history, taking over Dom Starsia after 24 years at the helm. Tiffany followed Starsia's path to Virginia. Both of them are Brown alums and coached at their Alma mater for 10 years before leaving for Charlottesville.
But since winning their latest NCAA Championship in 2011, Virginia hasn't been Virginia. Just look at their last five seasons:
|Year||Overall Record||Conference Record||Season Result|
|2012||12-4||2-2||Lost to Notre Dame in NCAA Quarterfinals|
|2013||7-8||1-4||Missed NCAA Tournament|
|2014||10-6||2-4||Lost to Johns Hopkins in NCAA First Round|
|2015||10-5||0-4||Lost to Johns Hopkins in NCAA First Round|
|2016||7-8||0-4||Missed NCAA Tournament|
So after 2012, Virginia crash landed and stunk. 2014 was okay, and outside of not winning a conference game in 2015 before losing to Hopkins in the First Round, that was also a good season. But it wasn't Virginia good.
Even with a legend in Starsia, Virginia decided to go in a different route this summer. It wasn't pretty and it wasn't quick, but in the end, we ended up playing BOSS Tiffany's music.
So we gave you a lot about Tiffany to Virginia and what that might mean. So that ponders this question: What will it mean for the rest of the ACC?
Well, let's start with one unanswered question. Who will BOSS Tiffany's assistants be? Will it be Sean Kirwan and Kip Turner from Brown following him? Kirwan is one of the masterminds behind the fast-paced offense, coming over from Tufts before the 2015 season. Turner is a Virginia alum and was the goaltender on the 2006 championship team. While Tiffany coached the defense, Turner coached Jack Kelly to a historic 2016.
The only think stopping them from coming to Charlottesville is the situation where they currently are. Brown definitely wants to keep both and will probably interview both for the head coaching vacancy. If Tiffany can only bring one, it's gotta be Kirwan. Without him, there would be no quick offense. Unless you bring in Tufts BOSS Mike Daly.
So let's assume Kirwan and Turner go to Virginia, and let him bring volunteer assistant Lars Keil along too. Outside of Syracuse scrimmaging Brown and Virginia playing Brown in the ACC Showcase game, the rest of the conference has not faced Brown and their new style of play. UNC played them back in 2012, but a lot has changed since then. It will certainly bring the Brown style of play to a bigger stage, not like the Ivy League wasn't a big stage. With the ACC being on ESPNU, many fans will be able to see the quick style of play throughout the spring.
It's not hard to prepare for a team like Brown, just ask Maryland how they beat them in overtime on Championship Weekend. With the other ACC teams knowing many of the current Cavalier players, it's just finding out how they'll play in Tiffany's system. Syracuse will be the most ready out of all of the ACC teams, since they've scrimmaged Brown last year and know many of the UVA players from previous meetings.
Which brings me to my next point: recruits. At Brown, Tiffany wasn't staunch on early recruiting. Brown managed to be successful. But in a conference like the ACC where everyone is a tier 1 program, and right near plenty of hotbeds in the Mid-Atlantic region, will Tiffany begin to pounce of kids early? What if he stays to his word and doesn't pounce on kids early in the process? Will kids go somewhere else, or if they're very interested, wait until Tiffany gives them a call? There are no Dartmouths in the ACC, and if one kid wants to go to Virginia, he'll definitely be getting interest from Notre Dame, Duke, North Carolina, and Syracuse as well.
As for current recruits, Virginia is pretty stacked. They have the top recruit in the 2016, 2017, and 2018 classes in Dox Aiken, Matt Moore, and Ross Pridemore. Others include Jared Connors (2016), Jack Reilly (2016), Will Rock (2017), Chris Fake (2017), Alex Rode (2017), Hall Peters (2017), Grayson Sallade (2018), Cade Staustad (2018), Gavin Tygh (2019), and Scott Bower (2019). That 2017 is already stacked with plenty of defensemen at the top and some pretty good offensive players as well.
Add current guys like Ryan Conrad, Ryan Lamb, Phil Poquie, Mike D'Amario, Logan Greco, Jason Murphy, AJ Fish, Zed Williams, Tanner Scales, and Ryan Lukacovic give Virginia a lot of talent to start implementing Tiffany's offense. After a decent freshman year, Conrad is going to need to improve in 2017 as a possible first midfielder.
If Turner comes as well from Brown, he can help Matt Barrett be a solid goaltender for a season before moving on in 2018. The top goalie coming out in 2013, Barrett was a Second Team All-American in 2015 before having a down year last season.
Heads up ACC. After a couple of "down" years, Virginia is coming back. And coming back fast. Literally. Just wait.