August 1, 2012

Fired F&M Coach Paul Hired as Assistant at High Point

from staff reports |

Lauren Paul, who was fired as Franklin & Marshall coach on April 17, has been hired as an assistant coach at Division I High Point.
© Kevin P. Tucker

Lauren Paul, who was fired this spring as coach of the Division III Franklin & Marshall women's lacrosse team in the wake of an alleged hazing scandal, has been hired as an assistant coach at Division I High Point University.

Paul will work under High Point head coach Lyndsey Boswell and joins assistant coach Whitney Michele and volunteer assistant Molly Lehman-Lewis on staff.

"It's a compliment to our women's lacrosse program and to High Point University to be able to attract a coach of Lauren's caliber to join our team," Boswell in a press release. "Lauren is a great person, a great coach and a proven winner. I think she has what it takes to help us become a nationally-recognized program."

Paul was fired as F&M coach on April 17, 16 players were suspended from the team and the remainder of the Diplomats' season was ultimately cancelled, all following what the school said was an investigation into an alleged March 2011 hazing incident. Paul, and assistant coaches Caitlin Powderly and Lidia Sanza, who were placed on administrative leave and later fired, disputed the allegations and spoke out against them.

"Every year we actually turn in our team rules to the athletic department, which they approve, and they take the reins of talking to the student-athletes about hazing. In my team rules, the biggest thing we stress is respect — each other, opponents and the game," Paul told Lacrosse Magazine on April 27, the day the Diplomats' season was cancelled. "Every day we talk about respect, and in my opinion hazing falls into that category. Obviously my goal is to put this behind me and clear my name and be able to move forward in a positive direction."

The coaches also released a statement through their lawyer that contended that neither Paul nor the assistant coaches "had knowledge or involvement in the March 11, 2011 incident giving rise to their present circumstances," that the investigation began when the parent of a former student-athlete who had been cut from the team registered a complaint in February 2012, and that the investigation had not yet concluded when the firing and suspensions went into effect.

On July 6, the New York Times published an article detailing the specifics of the allegedly hazing incident, which occurred in 2011. In the Times article, a lawyer for Paige Burns, a sophomore midfielder who was cut from the team in February 2012, states the activities included forced consumption of alcohol and sexually suggestive pranks. Burns' former teammates, Erin Dunne and Kelsey Hoffman, refute her version of the events, although the school affirms that there were "multiple, consistent accounts" consistent with Burns.

Mike Faith was hired as Frankin & Marshall coach on July 18.

In four seasons at Franklin & Marshall, Paul led the team to a 68-10 record and won a national championship in her first season in 2009, in which she was named IWLCA Coach of the Year. She was the first coach ever to win the national championship in her first season. Paul played for Franklin & Marshall from 2000-03 and was a two-time All-American.

"I'm absolutely thrilled to join Lyndsey's staff and High Point University," Paul said in a press release. "After meeting with Lyndsey and [Athletic Director] Craig Keilitz, I feel so great about joining this already successful program. I look forward to working under Lyndsey and getting to coach the young women at HPU."

With Paul at the helm, Franklin & Marshall won Centennial Conference titles in 2009, 2010 and 2011. In those three seasons, Paul's players were named All-Conference 18 times, All-Region 19 times and All-American 12 times.

Paul handled all coaching on and off the field, was recruiting coordinator and assisted in fundraising and alumni relations for Franklin & Marshall. She also ran several clinics and tournaments, which helped fundraise for the program.

Prior to Franklin & Marshall, Paul was assistant coach at Dickinson from 2005-07. She helped lead the Devils to their first Centennial Conference Championship Tournament appearance in 2005 and followed that effort with showings in the 2006 and 2007 championships.

Paul began her coaching career as an assistant at Lafayette in 2004, where she was in charge of the Leopards' recruiting efforts and budget management. On the field, she worked with Lafayette's attack and keepers.

In addition to her All-America honors as a player, Paul was twice named to the All-Metro Region first team and was a three-time All-Centennial Conference first teamer. She was the first player in team history to score 100 goals and register 100 assists in her career.

Paul graduated from Franklin & Marshall with a degree in Business Management and a minor in Mathematics in 2003.

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