Now living in New Orleans and working as a college head coach, she’s ready to start teaching them.
Lawing came on board as an assistant coach at the Xavier University of Louisiana in the fall and worked under Christabel Hamilton for a season. With Hamilton departing at the end of the year, Lawing is now running the program. She’ll be taking over a squad that went 22-8 overall, winning the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference tournament and qualifying for the NAIA Tournament for the second straight year.
“I have a lot of opening emotions that are overwhelming me,” Lawing said of her Dec. 21 promotion. “I can’t help but be ecstatic to have opportunities like this. I’m excited about having my own team.”
As a first-time coach, Lawing doesn’t have to put too much emphasis on recruiting right away. All the players she coached as an assistant in the fall of 2012 are expecting to be back. When asked what she planned to do in her first few months on the job, she said she would be devising the team’s offseason strength and conditioning program.
With her entire team back on the floor, Lawing may add a new wrinkle or two in a formula that’s already working, but doesn’t appear to be keen about leaving players on the bench for the entire season. She said she would like to have all her players get as much playing time as possible.
“I like to give everyone a chance,” Lawing said. “I like to use the bench and get everyone involved. I will also keep it close to how Christabel did it and we focused on fundamentals, ball control and serving.”
Two of Lawing’s coaches growing inspired her to lean toward a career in coaching — her A5 club coach Erica Miller and her South Carolina assistant coach Damian Elder, who is now head coach at Mercer.
She said both were similar in terms of “seeing the bigger of picture of things” beyond the volleyball court, to be a strong person and to cherish the talent she had been given.
Back in high school, Lawing stood out her senior season in 2006. She led Lassiter to a 42-4 season and a berth to the Class AAAAA state finals. She finished with 524 kills, 357 digs and 80 aces.
It was when she arrived in Columbia, S.C. where she had to grow as both a player and a person. With the freedom of being in college a temptation, she had to teach herself time management. And when she was with the team during her underclassmen seasons, she had to find a way to succeed with fellow players who were just as strong as player, if not stronger, than she was.
Eventually, Lawing succeeded with the Gamecocks and would like to share her experiences with her players.
“I think that coaching is a way that I can make these girls better people and not just better players,” Lawing said. “I can show them the important things in like and not just the important things on the court. Almost all if my coaches have portrayed that to me in one way or another.” Lawing said.
Lawing is third at South Carolina with 1,334 career digs and fifth with 3.35 digs per set. She also set a career match record 38 digs her senior year against Mississippi State.