Over this past weekend I sat down to talk with current Keiser University head women’s coach Lauren Bennett, as part of my new NAIA coach interview series.
NAIA Coach Interview: Lauren Bennett
Nick Zoroya: For those who aren’t familiar with your program, what year were you founded, what conference are you in, how long have you been the head coach of the program?
Lauren Bennett: Our inaugural season was 2016-2017 and I have been the head coach since the summer of 2016, our first 2 years of the program we were an Independent and this past 2019 season we started to participate in the Mid-South Conference.
NZ: What is your coaching background? Were you a player yourself?
LB: I was a player at Lock Haven University in 2009 and then transferred to St. Mary’s College of Maryland and played my remaining 3 seasons, 2010-2012. During my time at St. Mary’s, I was also a member of the field hockey team for 2 seasons, 2011 & 2012.
After graduation in 2012-2013, I traveled to England and was a PE teacher at a boarding school and was the Head Coach of the middle, JV and Varsity Teams.
Once arriving back in the states, I became an assistant at Florida Southern College from 2013-2016, and won the DII National Championship in 2016.
NZ: What attracted you to this school in particular?
LB: I really was excited to start a program from the ground up, I was ready to become a head coach after 3 years as an assistant at Florida Southern College. Once I stepped onto the campus, I loved the small class sizes, family friendly environment and the proximity to the beach.
NZ: What would you say is the biggest accomplishment of your program since you’ve been here?
LB: In 2018, we had a turnaround season. In 2017, we were 1-13 and in one year we improved to 12-5 and made it to the NAIA Quarterfinal!
NZ: What three/four players are you looking to lean on this year?
- Senior Midfielder: Se’Anna Beikirch
- Junior Defender: Mackenzie Gokey
- Sophomore Attacker: Melanie Brown
- Junior Goalie: Jessica Covell
NZ: What themes or mottos is your program currently utilizing?
LB: Every year we change our team motto at the completion of fall ball. In the past three seasons, we have used #TeamOne, #HereComesTheBOOM, #NeverBackDown, I’m excited to see what the team comes up with this year as we head into our 4th season.
NZ: What are you most looking forward to this upcoming season?
LB: We are so excited to play on our new turf and play in our new stadium. We have been anxiously awaiting our new facility and can’t wait to play there this season!
NZ: If you had just one sentence to shamelessly plug your program…..
LB: Top-5 program, sun, sand, waves, lax, what more could you want?
Thanks coach and good luck this year!