Veteran college assistant and current Crusaders offensive coordinator will take helm in Brooklandville in 2022
by Nelson Coffin
On the threshold of his third full season guiding the St. Paul’s School for Boys lacrosse program, Trey Whitty will take a step back from being the varsity coach after the 2021 campaign.
Whitty will continue his role as the school’s athletic director, however.
The St. Paul’s alumnus and member of the 2003 NCAA Division I championship team as a defenseman for the University of Virginia, will be replaced by Steven Settembrino, currently a teacher at the Brooklandville school and the Crusaders’ offensive coordinator under Whitty.
Whitty, who owns an overall 18-15 record and one playoff appearance in two years at the helm, said that his job as AD does not allow him to devote the time required by a varsity lacrosse coach in the ultra-competitive Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference.
“To be a head coach in the A Conference is a year-round job,” said Whitty, who is also the father of three boys. “You have to be totally focused on that job, and my job now is to focus on all St. Paul’s sports. That’s my path — to focus on all St. Paul’s sports.”
Settembrino has already had a long career in the sport, from his playing days as a prep player at Trinity-Pawling School in New York and a standout defenseman at UMBC while playing for St. Paul’s grad Don Zimmerman from 2005-09.
Settembrino was also an assistant coach for the Retrievers beginning in 2013 after stints as an assistant coach at Arlington (Va.) High School and at Mercyhurst (Pa.) College, where the Lakers captured an NCAA Division II national title in 2011 and completed an undefeated regular season in 2012.
He continued to wear many hats when he moved to Binghamton University as a top assistant coach/defensive coordinator/recruiting coordinator, guiding the Bearcats’ stingy backline to lead the America East Conference in scoring defense while allowing rival extra-man units to score on less than 14 percent of their attempts.
“He’s from Yorktown, New York, an area that is just as passionate about lacrosse as we are here,” Whitty said. “So he understands what it will be like in this environment.”
Zimmerman said that Settembrino is the perfect fit for St. Paul’s.
“Having worked with Coach Settembrino as both a player and later an assistant coach at UMBC, he has demonstrated outstanding character and leadership abilities throughout his career,” Zimmerman said. “I am looking forward to watching his Crusader teams in action.”
“I am extremely honored to be named the head varsity lacrosse coach,” Settembrino said. “I understand the responsibility of leading a storied program like St. Paul’s, and I am honored to follow in the footsteps of the excellent coaches. I look forward to continuing a longstanding tradition of success on and off the field.”
He will be leading a tradition-rich program, albeit one that has not earned an A Conference title since 2010 and owns only two MIAA crowns since the league’s inception in 1996.
Nevertheless, in the now-defunct Maryland Scholastic Association, no other school could come close to matching the Crusaders’ championship haul that totaled 23 banners.
From 1940 to 1961, a span of 22 years, St. Paul’s lacrosse reigned supreme 14 times, including a run of seven straight such triumphs.
Whitty said that he is confident in what Settembrino brings to the job.
“We have the same core principals,” Whiity said. “We value fundamentals. But first and foremost, he’s a guy who is passionate about working with kids. He’s just a very personable guy who will really help with our recruiting, and he’s deeply connected with (placing players with) college coaches.”