Head Coach: Nick Ignatiev
Bellaire HS '90, University of Houston '95
Coach Nick picked up lacrosse in its inaugural season at Bellaire High school in 1989 when he was a Senior and went on to play several years of box lacrosse and club team lacrosse for the University of Houston. In 2012, Coach Nick's daughter Nina was in 7th grade and playing for the Pershing Girls Lacrosse team. His son Alex was a 6th grader who was looking for a middle school sport.
Coach and several other parent volunteers formed the Pershing Boys Lacrosse Club and he fielded two teams in its first year back in the league. Pershing Boys Lacrosse is now in its 6th year and continues to grow. In addition to leading the Pershing team, Coach Nick also coached several middle school lacrosse elite travel teams, working with Sienna Plantation Lacrosse and Pearland Lacrosse.
In 2016, Houston area summer lacrosse programs began to close rank and decreased the number of summer teams that they would be fielding. This left a serious team void for high school lacrosse players, especially “inside the Loop."
Coach Nick decided to form a Men’s high school travel team, focusing specifically on giving local area boys a chance to play on a quality summer team. The 2016 Houston Cougars team boasted 22 players from five area high schools. In 2017, the team doubled in size and number of teams, with almost 40 players from six area high schools. The Houston Cougars participated in tournaments in Houston, Austin, Dallas and New Orleans.
Coach Nick’s alma mater, Bellaire High School, came calling this past summer with an opportunity to lead the Bellaire Men’s Lacrosse team. Given Coach Nick’s desire to grow lacrosse in inner-city Houston as well as to provide young men the opportunity to learn the sport and all the life-lessons that come along with it, coaching the Bellaire Men’s team was a natural next step. As for Coach Nick's kids, Nina is a Senior and starting Attack for the Lamar HS Women's Varsity Lacrosse team and Alex is a Junior and starting Attack for the Lamar HS Men's Varsity Lacrosse team. Zachary is entering first grade and will be suiting up in full lacrosse gear this Fall as well!
Assistant Coach: Kyle Tollestrup
Clements HS '14, University of Houston
Kyle has played lacrosse since 7th grade. He played for the Fort Bend Rangers under Rusty Jenkins. During high school, he was Varsity Defense all four years. After graduating high school, Coach Tollestrup went on to play for the University of Houston from 2014 - 2018.
He is currently working towards his Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science with a minor in National Security. He has been the Vice President and President of the UH Men's Lacrosse team.
His main focus for Bellaire Men's Lacrosse will be defense, defensive middies, clears and making this team a tough and physical defense.
Assistant Coach: Kevin Murphy
Kevin started playing lacrosse in 6th grade and immediately picked up playing goalie for Hylax and then Pershing. Kevin went to Strake Jesuit where he was a 3 year varsity starter and 2-time team captain. In 2015 Kevin was one of four goalies in the state of Texas selected to the inaugural StickStar All-Star game.
Throughout high school he played for select teams such as the Houston Hurricanes, Iron Horse Lacrosse, and FCA. Kevin received several D3 and D1 collegiate lacrosse offers but instead chose to attend the University of Missouri on an academic scholarship. At Mizzou, he was the team's freshman representative, then team travel chair, and then unanimously elected team president in 2018.
Kevin led his conference in save percentage during the 2017-2018 season. He is currently working towards finishing his Pre-Medical Bachelor's degree. His main focus for Bellaire Men's Lacrosse will be on team defensive communication, clears, physicality, solid fundamentals across all positions, and providing insight into the college lacrosse process for players interested in continuing their careers.
Assistant Coach: Matthew Graves
Bellaire HS '16, University of Houston
Matthew began playing lacrosse in 5th grade. He went on to play at Pin Oak Middle School, Bellaire High School and currently plays at the University of Houston. He is working to receive a Bachelor of Science in Economics.
During his time at Bellaire, Matthew played all 4 years on varsity and played for select teams such as the Houston Hurricanes and Next Level Lacrosse in the off season.
His main focus for the Bellaire Men’s Lacrosse Team will be offensive logic and decision making.