By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 1/25/22
Desi Gonzalez has been elevated to head boys’ lacrosse coach at Westtown School, Associate Athletic Director Steven Tulleners announced today
Gonzalez, a Puerto Rico National team captain and former Southern Lehigh and Emmaus head coach, was an assistant at Westtown the past year. Gonzalez replaces Carl Starkey, who resigned to focus on his startup business.
“We are fortunate to have an extremely qualified coach in Desi who has been integral in the build out of this program,” Tulleners said. “Desi and Carl have been working together to ensure this transition will be made as seamless as possible.”
Gonzalez is Director of Marketing and Community Outreach for Fusion Lacrosse and coaches with the Penn*Lax All-Stars. He was head coach at Southern Lehigh in 2015 and 2016, posting a 37-6 record while leading the Spartans to the District 11 title in 2016. He was head coach of Emmaus for two seasons, leading the Green Hornets to the 2019 District 1 AAA crown.
Westtown reached the Friends Schools League finals last year, bowing to Academy of the New Church. The Moose are expected to challenge ANC again this year for league honors after adding a number of new players and seeing a large number of players commit to Division I colleges.
Gonzalez is proud of the fact Westtown was recognized last year for its diverse team population by the Blaxers Blog.
“I am building off of what Carl has started,” said Gonzalez who formerly coached with Duke’s Nationals and is a coach with the current Nationals program. “It’s definitely something special.
“He laid down quite a foundation for the program to build off of. Last year I got my feet wet in the system. And what we’re doing with diversity is something important to me. I am trying to do it the right way, by grabbing the baton and continuing what Carl has started.
Westtown recently announced an ambitious schedule (see below), which opens with scrimmages against MIAA powers McDonogh and Calvert Hall and has non-league games with three Inter-Ac League teams, defending PIAA Class AA champion Allentown Central Catholic and a formidable Hill School. Gonzalez’s assistant is Jeremy Rualo, formerly an assistant at MIAA power Calvert Hall and former standout at Mount St. Mary’s University.
“It’s definitely an ambitious schedule and because of the talent slated to come in the following year we are trying to build the narrative of playing with the best teams in the country while striving to maintain our diversity,” said Gonzalez. “We’re trying to build a nationally competitive team while building our initiative.”
Gonzalez, who grew up on Long Island, helped lead Sachem High to the New York State Championship as a junior and was named a Scholastic All-American. Gonzalez graduated from Division II Limestone in 2012 after playing lacrosse for two seasons.
Tulleners credited Starkey for helping helped build Westtown into league power in his three seasons. “Carl stepped down due to the demands of a startup that he co-founded last summer,” he said. “This was an incredibly difficult decision for Carl, but consistent with his character, he made it thinking about the well being of his players. We are grateful to Carl for his leadership of our program.”