Paul Lawrence is ntering his third year as Florida Southern’s head women’s soccer coach after taking charge of the program December of 2016.
In his first year at Florida Southern, he guided the Mocs to an 8-3-4 overall record and 5-2-3 mark in Sunshine State Conference play. That represented a six-game improvement overall, a jump of six places in the SSC standings for their best regular-season finish in five years, and their first winning season since 2010. The eight wins were also the most by a first-year head coach in team history.
The one-year turn-around was not only reflected in Florida Southern’s won-loss record, it was also demonstrated on the final stat sheet. The Moccasins increased their scoring output by nearly two goals per game (a difference of 1.71), there was a ten percent drop in goals-against average, and the team’s shutout total more than doubled. It was the Mocs’ best season on offense since 2009, and their best on defense since 2011. Only two teams in the SSC scored more goals per game than Florida Southern just one year after the Mocs had finished ninth in that department, and they went from eighth in scoring margin to second.
Lawrence also returned the Moccasins to the SSC Tournament for the first time since 2013, and had them in contention for the NCAA Tournament as well. Florida Southern was ranked in the top eight of all three South Region polls conducted by the NCAA and was not eliminated from that race until the final game of the season. The Moccasins finished ninth in the United Soccer Coaches South Region Poll, their first postseason regional ranking since they were ninth at the end of the 2011 season.
Lawrence’s first team at Florida Southern picked up several individual awards as well, with three Moccasins making the All-Sunshine State Conference Women’s Soccer Team, and one of them, Alexa Moberley, earning All-South Region honors. The three all-conference selections were the most since 2012, and Moberley was their first all-region performer in three years. The Mocs excelled in the classroom under Lawrence too with a school-record four women’s soccer players landing on the academic all-district team, and senior defender Juliana Guida voted Second Team Academic All-American. A league-high 26 players made the SSC Commissioner’s Honor Roll and 10 did so with perfect 4.00 GPAs.
With his 8-3-4 record at Florida Southern, Lawrence now owns a career record of 43-23-7 in four seasons as a collegiate head coach. He previously served that role at Knox College in Illinois from 2014-16 where he led the Prairie Fire to a mark of 35-20-3. His final team there was the best in school history, going 19-1-1, winning the Midwest Conference regular season and tournament championships for the first time, and earning their first bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament.
That season saw the Prairie Fire set numerous school and conference records and become the first team at Knox College to go through the regular season undefeated since the 1919 football team went 8-0. They outscored their opponents 65-6, and posted 17 shutouts with a 0.28 goals-against average that ranked fifth in the nation in Division III. They also ranked third nationally in shutout percentage (.810), seventh in save percentage (.903), and 23rd in scoring offense (3.10 goals per game). Knox also earned a top-25 ranking in the NSCAA national poll for the first time in program history, five players earned All-MWC honors, three were named to the All-North Region Team, and Lawrence was selected the MWC Coach-of-the-Year.
When Lawrence was named the head women’s soccer coach at Knox College in January of 2014, the Prairie Fire had not had a winning season in 18 years, not qualified for the conference tournament since 1995, nor won a conference game since 2011. After a 3-14 campaign in his first season, Lawrence guided them to a 13-5-2 record in 2015 and a spot in the conference championship game for the first time ever. Their 9½-game improvement was the third-best in NCAA Division III that year and tied for the ninth best all-time at that level. One year later, Lawrence led them to their school-record 19 wins and their first trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Lawrence came to Knox College from Northwood University in Michigan where he spent the 2012 and 2013 seasons as an assistant coach under Dean Pappas. He helped the Timberwolves make back-to-back Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournaments, and nearly upset undefeated and eventual national champion Grand Valley State in the 2013 GLIAC Tournament.
- MWC Coach-of-the-Year: 2016
As a head coach at two institutions, Lawrence has produced quality student-athletes at both institutions including five all-Americans, three conference Player of the Year honorees, a Defensive Player of the Year award winner, and 31 all-conference selections. He has also coached 11 all-region/all-district honorees and a pair of Region Player of the Year winners.
AT FLORIDA SOUTHERN (2017-present):
- SSC Tournament Championships (1): 2017
- United Soccer Coaches All-South Region (1): 2017 - Alexa Moberley
- All-SSC (4): 2017 - Anna Griessler, Juliana Guida, Alexa Moberley; 2018 - Gaelyn Crowder
- SSC Players of the Week (4): 2017 - Jess Goedde (Sept. 4), Chloe Hamm (Oct. 2), Helena Norstrom (Oct. 9); 2018 - Tori Routt (Oct. 15)
AT KNOX (2014-16):
- NCAA Tournament Appearances (1): 2016
- MWC Tournament Championships (1): 2016
- MWC Regular Season Champions (1): 2016
- All-North Region - NSCAA (3): Kayla Brown, Yvette Rodriguez, Sierra Daniger
- All-MWC First Team (3): 2016 - Kayla Brown, Yvette Rodriguez, Sierra Daniger
- All-MWC Second Team (6): 2015 - Sydney Fretwell, Bryssa Montez, Yvette Rodriguez, Jen Crary; 2016 - Angelica Gamez, Jenna Milligan
- Prairie Fire Performer of the Week (4): - 2014 - Alyssa Stepanian; 2016 - Alex Robertson, Kayla Brown, Angelica Gamez
In addition to his team's successes on the pitch, Lawrence's squads have flourished in the classroom by winning multiple CoSIDA all-America and all-district honors, as well as a bevy of other national, regional, and conference academic achievement awards.
AT FLORIDA SOUTHERN (2016-present):
- CoSIDA Academic All-Americans (2): 2017 - Juliana Guida (CoSIDA); 2018 - Caitlin Quaempts (Google Cloud CoSIDA)
- Google Cloud CoSIDA All-District (5): 2017 - Jess Goedde, Anna Griessler, Juliana Guida, Helena Norrstrom; 2018 - Caitlin Quaempts
- D2ADA Academic Achievement Award (42): 2018-19 - Taylor Cherry, Gaelyn Crowder, Anna Griessler, Cali Larson, Candace Metcalfe, Rachel Peck, Caitlin Quaempts, Juliana Rossini, Kaitlyn Svopa, Amy Volk; 2017-18 - Brittany Butler, Dominique Cirnigliaro, Alex Daley, Alex Diamandis, Jess Goedde, Anna Griessler, Juliana Guida, Paige Koetter, Izzy Loyd, Helena Norrstrom, Caitlin Quaempts, Delaney Riggins, Megan Styron, Kaitlyn Svopa; 2016-17 - Dominique Cirnigliaro, Gaelyn Crowder, Alex Daley, Alex Diamandis, Jess Goedde, Anna Griessler, Juliana Guida, Paige Koetter, Kristy Legoas, Izzy Loyd, Alea Moberley, Helena Norrstrom, Elanee Otto, Caitlin Quaempts, Sheila Ramos, Aubrey Riggins, Delaney Riggins, Megan Styron
- United Soccer Coaches Team Academic Award (1): 2017-18
- SSC Commissioner's Honor Roll (74): 2018-19 - Tatum Albrecht, Erin Cagle, Taylor Cherry, Gaelyn Crowder, Diana Griessler, Chloe Hamm, Kylie Harris, Cali Larson, Brooke Lowery, Caitlyn Lowery, Kendall McNab, Candace Metcalfe, Jessica Mirsky, Alexa Moberley, Rachel Peck, Zoe Perez, Caitlin Quaempts, Juliana Rossini, Haley Rounsifer, Victoria Routt, Kaitlyn Svopa, Amy Volk, Becca Watson; 2017-18 - Leah Borders, Brittany Butler, Dominique Cirnigliaro, Gaelyn Crowder, Alex Daley, Alex Diamandis, Haley Eckel, Jess Goedde, Anna Griessler, Juliana Guida, Chloe Hamm, Kylie Harris, Paige Koetter, Izzy Loyd, Candace Metcalf, Alexa Moberley, Helena Norrstrom, Elanee Otto, Rachel Peck, Caitlin Quaempts, Delaney Riggins, Juliana Rossini, Mean Styron, Kaitlyn Svopa, Becca Watson; 2016-17 - Brittany Butler, Dominique Cirnigliaro, Margot Chowansky, Madi Colaw, Gaelyn Crowder, Ashlie DaCruz, Alex Daley, Izzy Dewell, Alex Diamandis, Carly Faust, Jess Goede, Anna Griessler, Juliana Guida, Paige Koetter, Izzy Loyd, Alexa Moberley, Helena Norrstrom, Elanee Otto, Caitlin Quaempts, Sheila Ramos, Aubrey Riggins, Delaney Riggins, Megan Styron, Kaitlyn Svopa, Ricki Vetzel, Maddie Werneke
AT KNOX (2014-16):
- Academic All-Midwest Conference (12): Greta Berger (2014), Theresa Birzer (2014), Jia Curry-Bild (2014), Madison Dana (2014), Callie Ellis (2014), Sarah Kobernat (2014), Jacqlynn Milligan (2014), Shea Pierce (2014), Margo Stanger (2014), Sarah Texter (2015), Courtney Dramm (2015 & 2016)
- United Soccer Coaches Team Academic Award (1): 2016-17
- Member: NCAA Division II Regional Advisory Committee (South Region)
- Member: Bevo Francis Award Committee
In addition to his time at Knox and Northwood, Lawrence spent one year at Alma College where he was assistant varsity coach and head junior varsity coach under Jeff Hosler. He helped the Scots win the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championship with the best record in school history (18-4-1) and qualify for the NCAA Division III National Tournament.
Prior to moving to the United States, Lawrence worked as assistant men’s soccer coach and goalkeeping coach at Bournemouth University before taking on his duties at Alma College. While studying at BU, he was also involved with video analysis for English professional soccer club AFC Bournemouth.
Lawrence currently holds a USSF C License, NSCAA Premier Diploma, NSCAA Goalkeeper III Diploma, as well as various USSF and English FA coaching licenses. He was a member of the Region II ODP staff as part of the girls' youth selection camp in July of 2013.
Lawrence lives in Lakeland with his wife Maria, and two daughters, London Olivia and Sydney.
LAWRENCE'S CAREER RECORD
|5 Season Career||48||33||8||.584|
|3 Seasons at Knox||35||20||3||.629|
|2 Seasons at Florida Southern||13||13||5||.500|