Hall of famer Nostrant named lacrosse coach at alma mater Washington

John Nostrant, an All-American who played on three national runner-up teams in the mid-1980s, is the new head men’s lacrosse coach at alma mater Washington College.

CHESTERTOWN — Washington College has tapped one of its own to take the tiller of its storied men’s lacrosse program.

Hall of fame and All-America midfielder John Nostrant, who played a key role on the Shoremen’s national runner-up teams of 1984, ’85 and ’86, is retuning to Chestertown.

His hiring was announced in a news release Tuesday.

“I am truly honored and humbled to be named head lacrosse coach at Washington College,” Nostrant ‘86 said in the news release. “My time at the college was some of the most impactful years of my life. I built relationships with teammates and classmates that are as strong today as they were thirty-five years ago.

“I learned how to compete at the highest level and was mentored by some of the best professors and coaches in the country.

“I look forward to providing that same experience to the current and future members of the lacrosse team and their families.”

He said returning to Washington College as head coach is “a dream come true.”

Nostrant is the 12th head coach in a Shoremen lacrosse program that has made 33 NCAA and USILA Tournament appearances, the last time in the 2014 NCAA Division III semifinals.

Nostrant succeeds Jeff Shirk, who is stepping away from coaching after 11 years here.

Shirk and his family are moving to Florida, where he has accepted an athletic director’s job at a private K-12 school.

Nostrant said he was looking forward to “getting to work and continuing to build on the foundation provided by Coach Shirk and the other phenomenal coaches who have led the program.”

Nostrant has been a high school coach for more than 30 years, most recently at Gilman School in Baltimore since 2019.

Before that he spent 28 years at the Haverford School in Pennsylvania. In addition to his lacrosse duties, he was the director of athletics at Haverford for 22 years.

Nostrant also had been an assistant and then head coach at St. Albans School in Washington, D.C.

His Haverford teams won 490 games and earned 13 Inter-Academic League (Inter-Ac) regular-season championships, four Inter-Ac tournament titles and two state championships.

Nostrant’s 2011 and 2015 teams finished their seasons undefeated and ranked No. 1 nationally, and he was named National High School Coach of the Year in 2015.

He also served as an assistant coach for the USA under-19 team that won the gold medal in the 2008 World Championship.

Nostrant began his coaching career as an assistant at alma mater Washington, from 1986 to 1989.

“We couldn’t be happier welcoming John back to Washington College. We are very fortunate to have someone with John’s accomplishments and experience lead our team into the next chapter of Shoremen lacrosse,” Athletic Director Thad Moore said in the news release.

Nostrant matriculated to Washington from C. W. Baker High School in Baldwinsville, New York, where he had been an outstanding football, basketball and lacrosse player.

He was a four-year star here, and captained Washington’s 1986 team that lost to then-Division III powerhouse Hobart in the national championship game, 13-10.

Nostrant was named to the All-America second team as a sophomore, junior and senior. He was his teammates’ choice as MVP in his senior year.

He was inducted into the Washington College athletic hall of fame in 2002.

After college, Nostrant played professionally for the Philadelphia Wings of Major League Lacrosse and the Baltimore Tribe and Baltimore Thunder of the National Lacrosse League. He was an all-pro player for the Wings, helping them win three MML championships.

Nostrant received a bachelor’s degree in history from Washington College and a master’s in education/principal certification from Cabrini University in Radnor, Pennsylvania.

He and his wife Gina have two daughters, ages 21 and 24, and a son, 22, who all have played collegiate lacrosse at the Division I level.

The 2022 season, the first with Nostrant as head coach, will be the 81st season of varsity men’s lacrosse at Washington. The college fielded a team from 1929 until 1934, and reinstated the program in 1948.

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