WEST ORANGE, NJ – West Orange resident and Roosevelt Middle School Science Teacher Peter Tourian has been named the new Head Lacrosse Coach at West Orange High School and he’s excited to get involved with the West Orange Recreation Lacrosse program as well.
Tourian grew up in Fairlawn, which boasted one of the earliest Lacrosse feeder programs. He started playing Lacrosse as a goalie in sixth grade with his friend Craig Buckley, who became the first coach of the West Orange High School Lacrosse Program about fourteen years ago. The two attended Fairlawn High School together and helped lead their Lacrosse team to the state semifinals in 1993, garnering First Team All State and All American awards. Tourian was one of four goalies nationally to attend the National All Star Game.
Tourian was recruited by Yale University and played D-1 Lacrosse for four years. He is credited with 21 saves in a 1995 game, the second highest in Yale University history. The record still stands today.
He graduated in 1997 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and received his Master’s Degree in Social Work from Rutgers University. He has been involved with the Tri-State Lax program, and was an assistant lacrosse coach in both Fairlawn and West Essex. Tourian has taught science for the past 15 years, 13 of them in Passaic County.
When the opportunity to take over as West Orange High School Lacrosse Coach arose, Tourian wanted to take the commitment seriously, not only at the high school but the township level, and he left his tenured position in Passaic County to begin teaching in West Orange.
“We can’t have a sustainably successful program with long-term success without solid mechanics,” Tourian said. “I want to generate enthusiasm and deliver a solid product at the Rec level, building the West Orange Lacrosse feeder program by teaching the fundamentals: stick skills, throwing and catching. Once those skills are mastered we can build on that.”
“Peter Tourian has come to West Orange Lacrosse with an extensive background in the sport as an Ivy league player and a scholastic coach,” said West Orange Recreation Director Bill Kehoe in an email to parents. “He also brings with him an unwavering commitment to develop the sport by working with the younger players. We are excited about the future.”
Tourian is also optimistic about the high school lacrosse team, which had its first winning season this year and has several strong returning juniors and seniors.
“We’re beginning to place some students in colleges to play lacrosse,” he said. “There’s a lot of potential in the program.”
But the fall focus will be on revitalizing the West Orange Rec Lacrosse Program, and skills clinics for students in grades three-five and six-eight will be held beginning Sept. 27. The clinics will be overseen by Tourian. The morning three-five clinic will be run by Tyler Johnston, the new WOHS Assistant Varsity Coach. Johnston, a graduate of Montclair High School, played lacrosse at Marist College and has just returned from California after working with Johnny Christmas Lax Clinics. The evening six-eight program will be headed by Dave Perez, WOHS graduate and long-time WOHS Jr. Varsity Lax Coach and Rec Lax Coach.
A program will also be available for K-two run by US Sports Institute.
“We’re at an important point in the history of West Orange Lacrosse,” said Tourian. "I want the West Orange Rec and WOHS Lacrosse programs to be successful,” he said, “and I’m in this for the long term.”
Tourian lives in the Redwood section of West Orange with his wife Ana, daughter Emma, 6, and son Luke, 3.