By MIKEY BARNES
There is a common theme of change in sport programs each year
concerning team coaches.
Coaches quit, retire or are relieved of their positions leaving empty
spots each academic year. This year, two new coaches were added and
five intern positions were filled this summer for the University of
Mary Washington athletics.
The women’s soccer program saw the addition of assistant coach Alicia
LaPorta, who will also be a new admissions counselor for UMW. LaPorta
comes to UMW from Lynchburg, where she played on the varsity program
for two years as a goalie before a career-ending injury. Following her
playing career, LaPorta spent three seasons as an assistant coach.
During her tenure as both a player and a coach, LaPorta and the
Hornets advanced to the NCAA tournament in all five seasons and was
the winner of the ODAC in four of those five years.
Following the retirement of long time head track and cross country
coach Stan Soper, the UMW search for a replacement was halted with the
finding of Kunle Lawson. Lawson joins UMW with a number of years of
He comes from Capital University in Columbus, OH, where he served as
director of track & field and cross country since 2011. Prior to his
work at Capital, Lawson was an assistant track & field coach at
Richmond University and Ohio University. Lawson also brings experience
outside of collegiate coaching, as he graduated from Lynchburg, where
he received two degrees and a master’s degree from Ohio University.
Lawson was a strength and conditioning coach for the professional
baseball teams the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Chicago Cubs.
Max Watson, an intern, will be joining the men’s soccer program, and
comes from Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA where he
played for four years.
Dalton Herendeen will join the swim program as intern. Herendeen is a
graduate from the University of Indianapolis, and is a decorated
United States national Paralympic swimmer, who holds records in the
200 IM, 100 breast, 200 breast and 400 IM.
Sadie Stuart, joins the softball team as an intern. Stuart is a 2015
graduate of Allegheny College, where she started every game during her
four-year career and currently holds the single season record for home
In her second year on the program, Regan McLaughlin will be an intern
for the UMW Field Hockey team this season. McLaughlin graduated from
Rhodes College where she received all-american honors twice.
Rachael Goss, a 2014 graduate of George Washington University joins
the UMW volleyball program this year as an intern. Goss studied
psychology at GW and was a 4-year outside hitter for the Colonials.
Taylor Johnson, former UMW basketball player and 2015 graduate, was
hired as graduate assistant in the sports information and facilities