Lawrence University women’s soccer coach Lisa Sammons has been elevated to full-time coaching status, Director of Athletics Mike Szkodzinski announced today.

Sammons, the 2010 Midwest Conference Coach of the Year, has been guiding the Vikings for the past three seasons as the Associate Head Women’s Soccer Coach. During that time, she was working with Director of Soccer Blake Johnson, who was coaching the men’s team and supervising the women’s program.

“Thanks to the support of President Jill Beck and our university administration, we are proud to announce that we have created a full-time head women’s soccer coach position beginning this fall,” Szkodzinski said. “Blake Johnson has done a great job over the past six years overseeing both soccer programs and will continue as the head men’s soccer coach. We believe that committing to a full-time person in each program is the next step to creating two powerful soccer programs.”

Sammons was named the associate head women’s soccer coach prior to the 2008 season and has compiled a 27-27-1 record over the past three seasons.

“Going to full-time status is exciting because we have had a taste of success in the past few seasons,” said Sammons, a 1993 graduate of the University of Minnesota. “Being able to work in this role year-round will enable me to really concentrate on recruiting and only serve to continue our success.”

Guided by Sammons, the Vikings returned to the Midwest Conference Tournament in 2010 after a nine-year absence from the event. Lawrence defeated both Lake Forest College and Carroll University to win its third MWC Tournament title in program history. The Vikings also played in the NCAA Division III Tournament for the third time.

“We have a good group of incoming student-athletes to complement the players we have coming back,” Sammons said. “I’m excited for continued success this fall.”

Szkodzinski said Sammons’ impact in the Department of Athletics will reach beyond women’s soccer.

“We are very thankful to have Lisa as our head women’s soccer coach,” Szkodzinski said. “She brings a tremendous amount of professionalism and leadership to the women’s soccer program and Lawrence University intercollegiate athletics. It will truly benefit the entire Department of Athletics to have Coach Sammons in a full-time capacity.”

Lawrence opens its 2011 season on Sept. 2 when it travels to Edgewood College.