A little housekeeping before we get to Virginia. The Hartford Hawks promoted Ryan Martin to head coach. I think that was an excellent move as BOSS Martin has already been at Hartford as an assistant and provides the stability needed after a coaching change.
Moreover, it was obvious from the announcement that that former BOSS Peter Lawrence was stepping down that Martin had the support of the athletic department, as he was named the interim head coach and Athletic Director Goff spoke favorably about Martin in the Lawrence press release. Hartford's transition of power was smooth, amicable, and swift. Good job by all parties involved including former BOSS Peter Lawrence.
|Princeton||Ivy||Chris Bates will not return. Matt Madalon named interim head coach.|
|Vermont||America East||Ryan Curtis stepped down. No interim/acting head coach named.|
|Binghamton||America East||Scott Nelson will not return. No interim named.|
|Hartford||America East||Ryan Martin promoted to BOSS.|
|UMBC||America East||Don Zimmerman retired. BOSS Zimmerman retires on July 1, 2016. There is nothing mentioned in the school release about an interim/acting coach.|
|Jacksonville||SoCon||Guy Van Arsdale will not return. Alex Lopes named acting head coach.|
|Virginia||ACC||Dom Starsia will not return. No interim named.|
Jacksonville, you're on deck!!
- How we got here. Dom Starsia departed as head coach.
- In the interim. UVA did not name an interim coach. There's an interesting article on Streaking the Lawn that delves into Assistant Coach Marc Van Arsdale current situation at UVA, however, per the UVA press release regarding Dom Starsia a national search was being conducted to find a replacement and no one was named interim BOSS.
- Conference/National Standings. While it is easy to kind of put Virginia and Princeton in the same basket as two blue bloods in need of a transfusion (#NotMedicalAdvice), I think UVA is actually not that far off from their glory years and in a much better place right now. While they have unquestionably struggled against ACC teams the last few years, nationally, UVA is still a premier team.
UVA lost to Loyola,
Richmond,High Point, and Cornell this year, but in 2015, a "down year" the Cavs didn't lose any OOC games in the regular season. In 2014, the only loss outside of the ACC was to Cornell. 2013 was a bad year with 4 OOC losses, but in 2012 the only non-ACC loss was to Hopkins and 2011 they won the title, so it doesn't matter who they lost to in the regular season (For the record, the only non-ACC losses in 2011 were to Hopkins and Syracuse). The Cavs were flawless against OOC teams in 2010 & 2009, losing only 5 games combined those two years.
I could go on, but you get the point. While they will need to improve within the ACC, Virginia is still a dominant program. It is not unforeseeable that if the head coaching hire goes smoothly, that we could see the Cavs in the Final Four within 3-4 years, if not sooner.
- Recruiting. Virginia/D.C is arguably the best region in the country (outside of NYC/LI/NJ/Philly corridor) for blue chip recruits. Virginia/D.C. produces future starters for almost every single major program in the country. Aside from the mid-Atlantic, you can't be in a better head coaching situation for recruiting than the BOSS of Virginia's flagship university. While the standard rule applies (fertile recruiting area means more competition), it's always better to in the tent than outside.
Virginia does have a nice card in that Virginia BALLERS need only only pay in-state tuition if they go to UVA. This is a very valuable tool in their arsenal and something that gives them an edge over outsiders trying to raid their state's recruiting hotbeds.
- In-state & regional competitors. Things are getting crowded in Virginia. Since the end of 2013, two new programs have sprouted, Richmond and now Hampton. Richmond's rise to national prominence should be a concern for all Cavs fans. Richmond went from a sub-500 inaugural season in 2014, to being within 2 OT conference title games of going to back-to-back Big BBQs.
The more the Spiders look like a yearly threat to make the Big BBQ, the more Virginia area HS players are going to notice. Much like Princeton's situation with NJIT & Monmouth, Virginia's claim to the in-state crown isn't in jeopardy today, however, the new in-state programs are only going to improve as the number of D1 schools isn't rising fast enough to match the increasing pool of HS BALLERS every year.
Even if you include the "bad years" recently, Virginia is probably ahead of Hopkins for 2nd best team in the VA/MD/DC region behind only Maryland. However, if Georgetown were to right the ship, they could be a larger threat to Virginia long-term than Richmond, Maryland, or Hopkins. Right now UVA can sell that they have the academic prestige of Hopkins with the big athletic brand of Maryland, something you can argue that Hop, Richmond and MD can't match. However, Georgetown does have those qualities and they provide an option for Northern Virginia & DC players to play closer to home that Richmond can't.
If they Hoyas bounce back and become a yearly tournament team, they could pose a major threat to UVA. The Hoyas are closer to that rich rich DC/No. Virginia recruiting pipeline than the Cavs, and the DC metro area is as attractive of a place to go to school as Charlottesville. A good Georgetown could be a major problem for UVA.
- Would a BOSS want to go here? ABSOLUTELY! UVA is probably at worst the 5th best job in the country. If you add up the positives (rich recruiting state, proud history, active/large alumni base, in the ACC, beautiful campus, great school, etc) you could make a good argument that it is the best head coach lacrosse job in the country.
The only thing that I'd consider a negative is the fact you are going after Starsia. You never want to go after a legend. You want to go after the guy who went after the legend. Nevertheless, given the fact that UVA is still a premier job, and there are only 71 head coaching jobs out there, it shouldn't be difficult for UVA to get anyone in the country (save 4-5 present head coaches) that they want. This is essentially a Florida/LSU/Bama/Ohio State type of job opening up in college football. Even after the Starsia fiasco and the fact you'd have to follow a legend, everyone is going to answer a call from UVA. THAT'S how good of a job the head coach at Virginia is in the D1 landscape
- Baseless speculation. If I were UVA I would go after Scott Marr of Albany as my first choice. I keep hearing/reading stuff about Kevin Corrigan from Notre Dame. I think that would be a great move, BOSS Corrigan's record at Notre Dame speaks for itself. Nevertheless, Marr's my choice if I am thinking long-term. After that I would look at Joe Amplo of Marquette and Shawn Nadelen of Towson.