Bridget Lawless saw the vacant women’s lacrosse coaching job at the University of Maine at Farmington as a pair of opportunities rolled into one.

It would be Lawless’s first head coaching job and allow her to return to New England to be closer to her family in Swampscott, Mass. 

Bridget Lawless Submitted photo

The Salem State graduate, who also played lacrosse for the Vikings, put her hat in the ring, got the job and will shortly be back in New England. The family owns a cabin in Bridgton and her father is thrilled she is living Maine.

She replaces Beth Lebel, who recently joined the Colby College women’s soccer staff.

For the past couple of years, Lawless served as an assistant coach for Washington & Jefferson College in Pennsylvania. She played lead roles with recruiting, scouting, team/player development, practice instruction, and in-game adjustments, as well as fundraising.

“I absolutely loved my time there, but I also wanted to advance my career in coaching and I really wanted to come back to the New England area,” she said. “So when I saw the UMF position pop up, it met my goals and kind of aligned were I wanted my future to go, but also the school itself. There is a lot of similar characteristics to WMJ.

“I went out on limb and I applied and obviously the result was very positive.”

Lawless also brings experience as a clinician and head club coach to the table. She earned US Lacrosse Level 1 and 2 certificates and anticipates completing her master’s degree in Sport Leadership at Endicott College later this fall. 

“Bridget’s philosophy and experience are a great fit to build on a quality foundation of culture and talent with the returning players and a solid recruiting class,” UMF athletic director Julie Davis said. “Alumnae coach Beth Lebel set the table for positive culture, competitiveness, and depth development that will serve her moving the program forward.”

Of course, Lawless has her own approach to coaching the UMF Beavers.

“I think (I can) definitely make it a little bit more competitive,” Lawless said. “I know they had a great season in 2019.”

Making the Beavers more competitive means Davis will also be looking outside the Pine Tree State for players who want to wear a Beavers jersey.

“Overall, I really like to diversify the team in terms of location,” Lawless said. “It is understandable that a lot of the roster is from Maine, but I think being in New England we have such a rich history of lacrosse and really talented lacrosse, I think I’d like to branch out in terms of location.”

Getting to know the team is also high on Lawless’s priority, as well as sharing her coaching style with the players.

“I know it is probably not easy having coaches come and go, especially with everything going on with the pandemic, and I think things are going to be a lot different than be ‘normal’” she said. “It will be interesting to see.

“I think obviously it is not ideal walking into a new coaching position during the pandemic,” she added, “but at the same time if I can handle this and the team and I can handle this, then it gives us a good place in the future when everything kind of goes back to normal.”

Lawless was a dedicated high school basketball player in Swampscott and didn’t pick up a lacrosse stick until her freshman year.

“I just took it and ran with it. It was something new and it was something exciting and I loved it,” she said. “New England has just a great history of lacrosse. I love to teach lacrosse and I love to really expand the sport.”

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