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Mr. Carl Lawson
Graduated 1976




Home Phone: 361-649-2251
Work Phone: --
Fax: --
Email: lawson35c@yahoo.com

SLC X-Country Team Champs 1972 & 1974;
SLC Track & Field Team Champs 1975;
MVP 1975 SLC Meet 800 & mile champ;
Assistant Coach in Track at UL in 1983 under Bob Cole;
Assistant Coach in Track at UL in 1990-1995 under the man we called “Coach” Charles Lancon….
Currently living in Texas.
Update May 21, 2010

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April 27, 2016

Spotlight on Former Athlete: Carl Lawson – Track & Field 1972-76 & Coaches 1983, 1990-94

Lawson’s drive was unmatched, his coaching stays in focus

By Bruce Brown

Athletic Network

Carl Lawson won enough titles in track and field to know the drive and determination it takes to ascend the victory stand.

But the former Ragin’ Cajuns star has enough perspective to guide young athletes whether or not they’re crowned champions.

Lawson still holds near legendary status at Central Lafourche, where his size blocked participation in football but proved no hurdle to his quest as an elite distance runner.

He parlayed that success into more highlights under coach Bob Cole at then-USL from 1972-76 and served twice as a Cajun assistant coach.

His most enduring legacy, though, might be the words of wisdom he provides for his middle school student-athletes in the Houston area.

“The kids work hard, because they want to please you,” Lawson said. “And they get emotional when they don’t please you. With this age group, they actually buy in to what you’re doing.

“It’s fun to work with the younger kids. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. In college coaching, you recruit kids and then live with it. At this level, we don’t cut kids. We work with all of them.

“I feel I can make a much greater difference with kids who buy in to it and give their all.”

Lawson has been amused to note differences in gender, saying “the male athletes tend not to be as humble. They’re more likely to boast or brag. Females are more low-key; they don’t brag.”

It turns out, that realization is part of his ongoing education in human nature.

“In junior high, they’re on an emotional roller coaster,” Lawson said. “They have good days and bad days. And they haven’t figured out how to separate them. You have to have patience until they break out of it.”

There are six middle schools in his district, but heavy sixth-grade enrollment at Lawson’s’ school limits the depth he can use to bolster his quality athletes. So he stresses long-term values gained while competing.

“Every time they walk on the track, or that football field, I want them to ask themselves, ‘Did I improve?’ “ Lawson said. “At this level, you develop until you’re ready for the next stage.”

Even at an early age, there was little question Lawson would succeed at any stage.

“In the seventh and eighth grades, I was a sprinter, played football and basketball,” he said. “I had an older brother named Henderson, and I followed him. Then in ninth grade I was actually cut from the football team because I was kind of small.

“So they put me in regular PE and in flag football I would out-run everybody. So the coaches had me run against the school record-holder in the 800, and I beat him. I got kind of excited. I saw the potential to be great.

“People encouraged me at a young age, and that was a difference maker for me.”

As a sophomore, Lawson was unbeaten in the mile and nearly perfect in the half-mile. He ruled both distances as a junior, then added the two-mile as a senior, posting times of 1:54.4, 4:25 and 9:48.

Lawson led six teammates to a tie for the state crown with his three individual wins and a clinching 47-second anchor leg in the mile relay at the LHSAA State Meet.

“That put a stamp on all the hard work I had done,” said Lawson. “I never felt invincible. I just felt that if I worked harder I would be successful. I’d run on my own, on weekends.

“I wanted to work hard to show I’m just as good as you.”

Often, in fact, he was better.

At USL, Lawson ran on Southland Conference team cross country champions in 1972 and 1974 and was MVP of the 1975 SLC outdoor meet in which he won the 800 and mile to spark a team crown for the Cajuns.

Remarkably, he pulled off the latter achievement just weeks after an appendectomy on March 8.

He remains among the best in school history in the 800 (1:50.0, set in 1973) and mile (4:08.84, 1976).

Whether in high school or college, he went out with flair.

“I owe it to Coach Cole,” Lawson said. “He became a father figure for me. He went out of his way to tell you that you come to school for an education, first, and everything else is lagniappe.

“He always looked out for you.”

Cole helped Lawson to land a sales job with General Mills, welcomed him back as a graduate assistant in 1983, and was open to Lawson joining a pharmaceutical company when he “wanted to try something else.”

“Not everyone can parlay athletics into a career,” said Lawson, who also coached at UL with Charles Lancon, 1990-94. “I didn’t feel the need to go past college and compete. I didn’t want to go the pro route.

“It was a way for me to get an education.”

Coaching at Breaux Bridge High, Lawson mentored the remarkable Charles Derousselle, among others.

“Talk about a pleasure to coach, and it started with his mother and father and the kind of people they are,” Lawson said. “In five years there, we had some great kids. They bought in, and that’s why we were so successful.

“I’ve been blessed to have talented kids with good character.”

That BBHS list included Quinn Hebert, who ran in the state cross country meet after having a 100-degree fever the night before “because he didn’t want to let his teammates down,” said Lawson, who could write the book on such focus.

Out of coaching and in the classroom from 1995-2006, Lawson was coaxed back into the arena when the school’s girls track coach left for high school. This summer marks his 10th year back, currently handling football, basketball and track.

“If kids leave here with a good experience, that’s what I look for,” he said.

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