BROOKLYN, N.Y. — St. Joseph's College (Brooklyn) Head Women's Soccer Coach Gary Lawson has been honored by Coach & Athletic Director magazine for their inaugural '40 Under 40' list recognizing outstanding individuals demonstrating involvement, innovation, and commitment in the sports industry. Lawson and the 2018 Class were honored at the National High School Athletic Coaches Association (NHSACA) National Convention in Sioux Falls, South Dakota on Monday.
"We are very proud that Coach & A.D. has named Gary to their inaugural '40 Under 40' list. Coach Lawson is well-deserving of this recognition for all of the outstanding work he has done in the sports industry while at St. Joseph's College and throughout his professional career," commented Director of Athletics and Recreation James Lally. "Coach has transformed our women's soccer program and we are excited for big things for the Bears during the upcoming season."
"This award is more a recognition of the great work that the College and women's soccer program are doing rather than anything else. I'm happy to receive the award, but I acknowledge without the support of my team, coaching staff, and administration we wouldn't be experiencing the progress we're making in such a short space of time," remarked Lawson who begins his third season at the helm. "Thank you to all the administration for their support and in particular James Lally for his leadership at St. Joe's."
Lawson brought to the Bears unique and dynamic coaching style that yielded tremendous success at the youth and high school levels. Inheriting a team that won one game the season prior to his arrival and with no time to recruit, Coach Lawson began to establish a culture of soccer at the College that was yet to be seen.
This past fall, in his second season, and having time to recruit his first class, Lawson led a team with nine freshmen to an 8-8 record, finished No. 12 in Division III in scoring offense, and qualified for the first Skyline Conference postseason berth in program history.
Led by a pair of All-Conference selections that Lawson helped bring to Clinton Hill—Deserae Sequeira and Anisah Molic—the team improved its goal differential drastically, scoring 56 goals and outscoring opponents by 13, just a season removed from netting only seven goals and suffering a -71 goal differential. After being shut out 19 times the previous two seasons and amassing just two wins, the Bears were on the opposite end of the spectrum, shutting out opponents in seven contests.
Coach Lawson's passion and leadership extends off the field as well, assisting student-athletes to develop in the classroom, in the community, and in their personal lives.
The women's soccer team has taken part in several community service projects since his arrival. They received a special recognition from the American Cancer Society for raising more than $1,300 for the organization during their annual Brooklyn Breast Cancer Awareness walk. They also took part in a recent Special Olympics clinic, gathered items for a Thanksgiving food drive, and has seen their team members actively involved in campus groups dedicated to enhancing the campus atmosphere and connecting with the local community.
"On behalf of everyone at SJC, I want to extend our congratulations to Gary and his family for this outstanding recognition," added Lally.
"I'm honored to receive the award and I'm sharing it with my team. I can't wait for the 2018 season to start and continue growing and improving our program," concluded Lawson.