St. Paul's School didn't have to stray far to find its new boys' lacrosse coach.
The Crusaders tabbed Trey Whitty, a 1999 graduate of the school, to succeed current head coach Rick Brocato at the conclusion of the 2017 season. Whitty is currently an assistant coach for Andy Hilgartner at McDonogh, which won the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association "A" conference championship last season.
"It is an honor to follow in the footsteps of two of my mentors, Rick Brocato and [former St. Paul's head coach] Mitch Whiteley," Whitty said in a statement. "I will honor the traditions of the St. Paul's lacrosse program while leading us into a new era of excellence."
The new position at St. Paul's provides Whitty with the opportunity to return to his roots. In addition to attending the school, Whitty was an assistant lacrosse coach and taught at St. Paul's for two years after graduating from the University of Virginia in 2003. He was part of the coaching staff for the 2004 MIAA title-winning Crusaders.
As a student at St. Paul's, Whitty lettered in three sports and served as captain for the lacrosse, football and basketball teams. During his junior year, Whitty received the Charles Pforr '51 Memorial Athletic Award as the most improved athlete. The following year, he won the George L. Mitchell '44 Best Athlete Award.
Whitty went on to become an accomplished lacrosse player at Virginia. As a junior, he received the Cavaliers' Unsung Hero Award and was a co-captain on the 2003 NCAA Division I National Championship team. He was also named an honorable mention All-American in 2003.
In addition to coaching at St. Paul's, Whitty will teach history at the upper school and serve as a college counselor. He is currently a teacher at McDonogh and is also the former director of athletics at St. Mary's School.
"I'm proud of him and know he'll do a great job at St. Paul's," Hilgartner said.
Whitty was inducted into the school's Athletic Hall of Fame in 2016. He will become the sixth head coach at St. Paul's throughout the program's 60 years.
"We are thrilled to welcome Trey back to St. Paul's," headmaster David C. Faus said. "Like his predecessors, he is a true teacher-coach and will educate our students not only on the playing fields but also in the classrooms."
Brocato announced in September he would step down as head coach at the end of this upcoming season. He wants more time with his family and to pursue other interests. However, he will remain a teacher at the school.
During 16 years at the helm, Brocato helped the Crusaders maintain their reputation as one of the nation's top programs. He is seven wins away from tying George Mitchell for the most victories in school history. Overall, St. Paul's has won 25 conference titles, which is more than any other boys' high school lacrosse program in Maryland.
"I was always honored and humbled to be the head coach at St. Paul's," Brocato said. "Howdy Myers, Ace Adams, Gene Corrigan, George Mitchell, Mitch Whiteley -- these former St. Paul's coaches are legends in the game. St. Paul's is one of the best high school jobs in the country for any age or any level coach. It's not for the faint of heart, that's for sure. I always kidded with folks by saying, 'There's no pressure; just don't lose.'"