Johnson C. Smith

‘Local powerhouse’ Carol Lawrence to lead JCSU track and field program

Carol Lawrence led Providence Day to nine state championships, a win in the historic Penn Relays, and has coached 41 individual state champions.

Courtesy of JCSU Athletics

Charlotte, NC – Johnson C Smith University Director of Athletics Stephen Joyner Sr., announced the hiring of Carol Lawrence as the head coach of JCSU’s cross country and track and field program.

“Coach Lawrence is a local powerhouse in cross country and track and field with a strong reputation in the state of North Carolina for developing champions,” said Joyner. “Johnson C. Smith University has produced track and field Olympians since 1968, and we’re pleased to welcome Coach Lawrence to our Golden Bulls track and field tradition of excellence. We developed one of the most accomplished women’s track student-athletes in the history of Division II, and we have hosted the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships twice on campus in the last few years. We expect even more accolades and accomplishments under Coach Lawrence’s leadership.”

Carol Lawrence JCSU track and field
Carol Lawerence with gold medalist Anna Cockrell

Lawrence, a 1992 graduate of New York Institute of Technology, served as head coach at Providence Day School in Charlotte, from 2012 to 2022.

Carol Lawrence led Providence Day to nine state championships, a win in the historic Penn Relays, and has coached 41 individual state champions.

“I am looking forward to the opportunity to work with the scholar-athletes of Johnson C Smith University. They are very talented individuals who have done some really good things so far in and out of the classroom and I am excited to see where this journey will take us as a team.”

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She was awarded Charlotte Observer Coach of the Year for the second time in 2022. 

Lawrence coached Charlottean Anna Cockrell, who won a Gold Medal in the 2016 World U20 Championships in the 400m hurdles where she ran 55.20 seconds and split 51 seconds on the 4x400m relay team.

Cockrell was a 2016 semifinalist in the U.S. Olympic Trials, ran in the 2015 U20 Pan American Games and won gold medal in the 400m hurdles. She was a member of Team USA and represented the U.S. in the 400m hurdles at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games held in 2021 due to COVID-19.

‘Local powerhouse’ Carol Lawrence to lead JCSU track and field program
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