Former youth national team keeper and University of Virginia star Tom Henske has been named Staples boys goalkeeper coach. He replaces Paul Melitsanopoulos, the popular and very talented Norwalk High graduate. Paul returns to his alma mater, where his younger brother will be a freshman.
Tom played with both the U-20 and U-18 national youth teams. He replaced Tony Meola as UVa’s starting keeper as a freshman, and led them to 3 NCAA Division I national championships. He was the hero of the 1st final, as the Cavaliers beat Santa Clara 3-1 in a penalty kick shootout following a scoreless draw.
Tom ran UVa’s largest student fundraiser to that time — “Shoot Out Cancer” — for a teammate. He donated his championship ring to charity, and organized events asking students, community members and businesses to match his contribution. As a senior, Tom received Virginia’s Distinguished Student Award.
He was a 4-year starter at Northport (LI) High School, where he was twice named to both the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and Parade All-America teams. He was Gatorade’s Circle of Champions New York State Player of the Year and Puma US Goalkeeper fo the Year.
Head coach Dan Woog said, “We are truly sorry to lose Paul, who served us so well for 2 years. He was our 1st goalkeeper coach, and defined the position perfectly. He made himself an important part of our team — for all players, not just keepers — and our guys loved having him on the sidelines at big matches.
“We are very fortunate to have Tom step in. He has played at the highest levels of the game. He’s a winner, a tough competitor and a class act. He knows our high standards, and is ready to give us everything we need to reach our goals. I know that Tom, like Paul, will have an immediate impact on every Staples soccer player.”
Tom is a partner with Lenox Advisors, the wealth management firm. He works there with Kyle Martino ’99, also a Gatorade Circle of Champions state (and national team) Player of the Year, and a former University of Virginia Cavalier. Kyle will also find time to help the Wreckers this fall.