Courtesy of Jake Levy - GVSU Director of Athletic Communications and Broadcasting
ALLENDALE, Mich. – Grand Valley State Director of Athletics, Keri Becker, announces the hiring of Mackenzie Lawler as the new head coach of the Lakers' women's lacrosse program. Lawler, who will officially begin her duties on July 10, 2018, becomes the second head coach in program history.
Lawler has an extensive coaching background in collegiate, high school and youth athletics. She most recently spent four seasons as the first assistant coach at Central Michigan University, helping to launch the newly formed Chippewa lacrosse program. During her time at CMU, Lawler served as offensive coordinator as well as coordinator of recruiting, camps and film. In her final season at Central Michigan, the Chippewas held the tenth-best shooting percentage (47.8%) in Division I.
"I want to thank athletic director Keri Becker and the hiring committee for the opportunity to be the next head women's lacrosse coach at Grand Valley State University. I'm excited and humbled to continue the rich championship tradition within the athletic department and the women's lacrosse team over the past seven seasons," Lawler said. "Grand Valley State University's strong academic programs, connections in the community, and alumni support all make this position incredibly appealing. I look forward to meeting and working with the current student-athletes to build on their past success and strive to continuing to be one of the top teams in the nation."
Lawler has also built one of the premier youth lacrosse programs in the state of Michigan. She founded Michigan Elite in 2011, serving as the administrator and head coach of a program that has grown to a staff of 10 coaches and over 150 athletes spread across seven teams; five in her hometown of Okemos and two in Grand Rapids. She graduated from Robert Morris University in 2014, where she was a three-year starter in the Division I Colonials' midfield and amassed 35 goals, 21 assists, 38 ground balls, 27 draw controls and 21 caused turnovers. During her collegiate career, Lawler also spent time as a youth and high school coach in both her home state and in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area where RMU is located.
"We are excited to begin the next chapter of GVSU Women's Lacrosse with Mackenzie at the helm. She will be taking over a solid program that is filled with amazing student-athletes hungry for more success," Becker said. "Our search yielded some exceptional candidates and Mackenzie demonstrated she possessed the right combination of leadership ability and skills necessary to give our student-athletes the best chance for success. She articulated a clear vision of running a Division II program and we are excited to see this vision come to life."
The Lakers' lacrosse program enters their eighth season of competition in 2019. GVSU boasts an overall record of 87-40 through seven seasons with six Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) regular season titles, four conference tournament championships and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament in 2016. Fifty Lakers have earned All-GLIAC honors, 11 have been honored as Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) All-Region selections and four have earned All-America status. With Lawler at the helm, the Lakers look to add to those impressive numbers and continue to grow into a national power.