1. Dom Starsia, Men’s Lacrosse
Widely regarded as one of the best teachers, motivators and tacticians in the game, Dom Starsia is in his 22nd season at the helm of the Virginia men’s lacrosse program.
Under Starsia’s guidance, his Cavalier squads have won four NCAA national championships, Starsia was inducted into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame in November 2008. During his coaching tenure, Virginia has featured 125 All-Americans (30 first-team, 31 second-team, 25 third-team and 39 honorable mention choices), 71 All-ACC selections, eight ACC Rookies of the Year and seven ACC Players of the Year. In addition, UVa has produced five NCAA Championship MVPs (Michael Watson in 1996, Conor Gill in 1999, Tillman Johnson in 2003, Matt Ward in 2006 and Colin Briggs in 2011) and 37 All-NCAA Tournament selections, all since 1994.
2. Julie Myers, Women’s Lacrosse
Head coach Julie Myers, in each of her 18 seasons at the helm of the Cavaliers, has guided her team to the NCAA Championships–a feat matched by no other Division I coach in the same period.
In addition, the Cavaliers have reached the finals of the NCAA championships eight times and have played in the title game of the ACC Tournament in nine of the 16 years it has been contested. It is a remarkable consistency matched by no other Division I coach in the country.
3. George Gelnovatch, Men’s Soccer
A former Cavalier soccer All-American and assistant coach, Gelnovatch has led UVa to the 2009 NCAA Championship, four NCAA College Cup appearances, four ACC tournament titles, two regular-season ACC championships, 18-consecutive NCAA tournament appearances and an overall record of 260-106-38 during his tenure as UVa head coach.
Gelnovatch mentored Virginia to the program’s fourth NCAA College Cup appearance during his tenure in 2013 when he brought a young team into the final four. Led by third-team All-American Eric Bird, UVa posted a 13-6-5 record while advancing to the program’s 33rd-consecutive NCAA tournament (the current longest streak of NCAA tournament appearances in Division I).
4. Brian Boland, Men’s Tennis
For nearly two decades, the name Brian Boland has been synonymous with success. Beginning with five seasons at Indiana State and over the past 12 years at Virginia, Boland has proven to be one of the elite coaches in collegiate tennis. The 2008 ITA National Coach of the Year, Boland led his alma mater to new heights before coming to Charlottesville and turning the Cavalier program into the dominant team in the ACC and a national powerhouse.
In 2013, he led Virginia to the pinnacle of collegiate tennis as the program won its first NCAA Championship. Championships, both conference and national, both team and individual, have become a constant theme of Boland’s squads. In 17 seasons as a head coach, in addition to the 2013 NCAA Championship, his teams have won five ITA National Team Indoor Championships, 12 conference championships and 14 NCAA and ITA individual national championships.
5. Brian O’Connor, Baseball
four-time ACC Coach of the Year and two-time national coach of the year Brian O’Connor continues to lead Virginia to unparalleled levels of success. Now in his 11th season as head coach of the Cavaliers, O’Connor has built his program into a powerhouse and turned Virginia Baseball into a national brand.
Virginia advanced to its first College World Series in 2009, setting off a remarkable stretch as UVa has recorded 245 wins in the last five years – the most victories of any Division I program during that time.
In this period UVa has made two trips to the College World Series and won four NCAA Regional championships, two ACC tournament titles and two ACC Coastal Division crowns. The Cavaliers are one of three teams nationally to play host to NCAA Regionals each of the last four years, racking up three 50-win seasons and spending two stints atop the national polls since 2010.
6. Steve Swanson, Women’s Soccer
It is no coincidence that success has followed University of Virginia head coach Steve Swanson throughout his career. In his 24th season as a head coach, his 14th at Virginia, he has established himself as one of the elite coaches in collegiate soccer, and certainly one of the most respected. Swanson has led his teams to six conference championships, 19 NCAA Tournament appearances and 23 consecutive winning seasons during his 24-year career.
In 2013, Swanson led the Cavaliers to the best season in school history and was recognized as the NSCAA National Coach of the Year. As Virginia made its second NCAA College Cup appearance, the team set school records with 24 wins and 78 goals scored. The Cavaliers went undefeated through the regular season (19-0 overall, 13-0 ACC) as Swanson earned ACC Coach of the Year honors for the first time in his career. On Sept. 19, Swanson became the 16th Division I coach to join the 300-win club, and the 11th to accululate 300 wins at the Division I level.
7. Tony Bennett, Men’s Basketball
Tony Bennett enters his fifth year as the men’s head basketball coach at the University of Virginia. Bennett came to Charlottesville after spending the previous three seasons as the head coach at Washington State where he was the 2007 National Coach of the Year.
Under Bennett’s direction The Cavaliers finished fourth in the Atlantic Coast Conference (11-7) for the second consecutive season and won a school-record 20 games at John Paul Jones Arena. In addition, Virginia won 22 or more games in back-to-back seasons for the first time since winning 30 in 1981-82 and 29 in 1982-83.
8. Kevin Sauer, Rowing
Kevin Sauer finished his 18th year as the head coach of the Virginia rowing program in 2013 and has led the Cavaliers to seven consecutive top-six finishes at the NCAA Championships.
In 2012, Sauer accomplished one thing that had eluded him throughout his coaching career, the First Varsity Eight won the national championship to clinch Virginia its second NCAA Championship on Mercer Lake in West Windsor, N.J.
In the 18-year history of varsity program, the Cavaliers’ Varsity Four boat had won at the national regatta four times and the Second Varsity Eight three times, but the First Varsity Eight had never accomplished the feat.
Two years after winning the school’s first national team title in 2010, Sauer led the Cavaliers to their 12th Atlantic Coast Conference crown and led the program’s premier boat to its first title after finishing runner-up three times, twice in the last three years.
9. Steve Garland, Wrestling
Former Cavalier All-American Steve Garland is serving in his eighth season as head wrestling coach at Virginia. A master motivator, recruiter and coach, Garland has worked diligently to push the Cavaliers among the nation’s elite.
The results of Garland’s perseverance are evident. In Garland’s first seven seasons at Virginia, the Cavaliers earned six All-America honors and 12 ACC individual titles while qualifying 42 to the NCAA Championships and now recording four-consecutive Top-30 team finishes at NCAAs. UVa has a 98-44 dual record during his tenure. The Virginia wrestling program also has been a standout in the classroom; in 2013 UVa was honored by the NWCA as one of the top academic teams in the nation.
In 2010 Garland was named the ACC Coach of the Year as Virginia won the program’s first ACC Championship since 1977 before earning a 15th-place finish at the NCAA Championship, UVa’s second-best finish at the national championships.
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Maggie Comeau, Content Manager
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