|COURTESY OF JOHNSON C. SMITH ATHLETICS|
|Carol Lawrence, who led Providence Day to nine North Carolina independent school track and field titles in 10 years, is Johnson C. Smith’s new head coach.|
Carol Lawrence moves from providing track and field coach at Providence Day to Johnson C. Smith.
Lawrence, who led the Chargers to nine independent school state championships, was named coach of the Golden Bulls last week, making her the first woman to coach both men’s and women’s teams in league history. school.
“I look forward to the opportunity to work with Johnson C Smith University varsity-athletes,” Lawrence said in a statement. “They are very talented people who have done some very good things so far in and out of the classroom and I’m excited to see where this journey will take us as a team.”
Lawrence, who coached 41 individual state champions in a decade at Providence Day, also has a Penn Relay victory on his resume. Its best-known athlete is 2021 Olympic hurdler Anna Cockrell, who won a gold medal at the 2016 U20 World Championships in the 400 meters where she ran 55.20 seconds and shared 51 seconds in the relay team 4x400m.
“Coach Lawrence is a homegrown powerhouse in cross country and track and field with a solid reputation in the state of North Carolina for developing champions,” said JCSU athletic director Steve Joyner. “Johnson C. Smith University has produced Olympic track and field athletes since 1968, and we are thrilled to welcome Coach Lawrence to our Golden Bulls tradition of athletic excellence.”
Lawrence joins a program aimed at replicating the success of Lennox Graham, who left for Clemson in 2017 after coaching three Olympians for 10 years at JCSU. The Golden Bulls were also a force nationally, especially on the women’s side, with five top-five and three-second finishes in the Division II championships.
There is talent on campus. Sophomore sprinter Justin Steele won second-team All-American after finishing 11th in the 200 meters last season with a time of 20.95 seconds. The Golden Bulls also racked up 21 all-region honors in 2022.
“We have developed one of the most accomplished female student-athletes in Division II history, and have hosted the NCAA Division II Outdoor Athletics Championships twice on campus at over the past few years,” Joyner said. “We expect even more accolades and accomplishments under Coach Lawrence’s leadership.”