By Danny Contreras
Laura Campbell replaced the green and white colors of her former school, Post University, for the signature blue and white of Central as she sat behind her desk on her first day as the CCSU’s women’s lacrosse team.
A Connecticut native, Coach Campbell played at American University for 4-years, and captained her team for two seasons. She is a member of the only American University team to reach the NCAA Tournament and has also set a record as a student when she and her teammates set up the Eagles’ most winning season with 9 wins by a class; a record she would later meet as a coach.
“I don’t set out to break records,” explained Campbell. “I kind of do things more methodically, one step at a time. I find that those things happens when you take care of the little things,” she said in regards to the accolades she has received over the years.
CCSU’s Director of Athletics, Paul Schlickmann, explained how valuable Coach Campbell is to the evolution of the CCSU W-LAX program and how she is someone that the school can count on to bring in results.
“Laura brings a wealth of Division I experience as a student-athlete and as a head coach and has a track record of success at every stop in her career,” said Schlickmann. “She has a clear passion for the sport and believes in the model we embrace for our student-athletes, building Champions on and off the field of play.”
Her experience has allowed her to travel all over the East Coast. Her first collegiate job as coach was in Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York. There, she led the Red Foxes to back-to-back finals appearances in the MAAC Championship games. In 2010, she won the title, leading the Red Foxes to their first ever NCAA Tournament appearance.
Campbell then returned to her alma mater’s W-LAX program as a coach, and set up a record of a different kind when her squad boasted the top GPA among all D-I LAX programs.
“It was something that we really emphasized – the importance of being well rounded and well balanced – and at the end of the day, they are students first,” said Campbell.
“I truly believe in that because that’s the reason why they are here,” she continued, “yes, they play lacrosse and yes, they’re division one athletes—and they take that very serious, too—but at the end of the day if they don’t do well in the classroom, then they’re not gonna be able to play, anyway.”
Campbell’s philosophy can be seen through her accomplishments over the years. She has placed more than 45-players on academic award lists and among her former teams, one of her athletes was named conference player of the year.
The success of her athletes is largely due to her approach to the game and how she manages the team. Campbell tries to get an equal amount of output from her team for everything that she teaches them.
“We set some lofty goals, but they were set by the kids; we had a team meeting where I was very candid, and I just asked them what they thought was an acceptable team GPA would be—and they thought about it, and we set a 3.6 team GPA and they actually surpassed that.”
Campbell explained that it was through communication with her team that this could have been achieved, stating that “it was just something they knew was important to me, and it was also important to them. And we just always communicated about it, and we had some good resources, and on their behalf they utilized the tools.”
Other career stats include a 38-31 career record, and the most winning season for Post University.
CCSU’s W-LAX team begins their season in the spring of 2014.
“Laura is a great fit for Central Athletics and our lacrosse program,” said Schlickmann.