Athletics: Celebrating Coach Bill Lawson

Nearly 700 gathered for a celebration of Coach Bill Lawson’s life Sept. 8 in Kirby Sports Center arena. The winningest men’s lacrosse coach in Lafayette history, he retired in 2002, ending a 37-year career of coaching three different sports. He later returned in 2007 as a volunteer assistant men’s lacrosse coach.

Lawson, 79, died July 13 after his car crashed on Interstate 78 in Clinton Township, N.J.

Speakers included Robert Wheatley ’78, a men’s lacrosse player, Jim Dailey, head men’s and women’s swimming coach, Jim Rogalski, head men’s lacrosse coach, David Roach, director of athletics at Fordham and a fellow Springfield College graduate, Jud Linville ’79, men’s lacrosse player and member of the Board of Trustees, and Peggy Lawson, his wife of 53 years.

Rogalski said the team will play the 2014 season wearing decals on their helmets with Lawson’s initials. Linville announced that an endowment has been started in his honor.

Lawson came to Lafayette in 1965 as swimming and tennis head coach before assuming the men’s lacrosse post in 1972. He retained the swimming position until 1986 and continued as diving coach until 2002, when he was inducted into the Pennsylvania Lacrosse Hall of Fame.

Read a message from President Alison Byerly and more than 25 comments about Lawson.