Lauren Anderson, Senior Associate Director of Athletics at the University of Rhode Island retired in June, 2008 after a 41-year career in athletics. Her experiences and ultimately, her career path have mirrored the growth of women's sports in New England. She attended Woodstock Academy, in Woodstock, CT at a time when the only sports offered to girls were basketball and softball. Lauren excelled in both sports, playing the guard/rover position in the six-player basketball game and left field for the softball team.
Lauren attended Southern Connecticut State College where she played basketball, field hockey, softball, and track and field. She graduated with a degree in Health, Physical Education, and Recreation and received the “Outstanding Senior Physical Education Major” award at the honors convocation in 1967. She earned her Master’s degree from Southern in 1971.
Lauren began her career as a physical education teacher and coach at North Haven High School in North Haven, CT. She coached girls’ basketball for seven years, compiling a 53-35 record, and led her team to the quarter-finals of the inaugural CIAC Girls’ Basketball Championship in 1974. She also coached field hockey and track and field, leading the track team to four consecutive state titles. In the sport of field hockey, Lauren earned her "National Umpire" rating and officiated scholastic, collegiate and international matches from 1967-77. In 1975, Lauren was appointed North Haven High's athletic director, the first female in the state of Connecticut to serve in that capacity.
Following the introduction of women’s intercollegiate sports at the University of Rhode Island, Lauren joined the Rams in 1977 as the school's first women's cross country/track and field coach. A full-time women’s basketball coach was also hired in 1977, and throughout the early years, Lauren served as the announcer and “voice” of women’s basketball in Keaney Gym. During her 15 years as the URI Head Track Coach, Lauren earned many coaching honors including the 1987 New England Division I Cross Country Coach of the Year; 1990 New England Division I Outdoor Track & Field Coach of the Year; and the 1991 URI Coach of the Year. She has served on numerous coaches’ association committees, including six years on the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Track and Field Committee, 1992-1998. She was the first woman selected to chair that committee and did so for three years.
Lauren made the transition into administration in 1992 as the associate director of athletics and senior woman administrator, succeeding her own mentor and Hall of Famer, Eleanor Lemaire. One of Lauren’s many duties was the oversight of URI’s Division I Women’s Basketball program which made its debut in the NCAA Tournament in 1996.
A highly regarded advocate for women's issues and opportunities in athletics, Lauren has been a strong role model for female coaches and administrators. She has received numerous professional honors throughout her career including: 2001 University of Rhode Island Association for Professional and Academic Women "Woman of the Year”; 2005 National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators “Division I-AA Administrator of the Year”; Eastern College Athletic Conference “Katherine Ley Lifetime Achievement” and “James Lynah Distinguished Achievement” awards; “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the RIAIAW; and the “Bill Cawley Lifetime Achievement” award from Words Unlimited, the Rhode Island Sportswriters Association. Additionally, Lauren has been inducted into the North Haven High School Sports Hall of Fame, the Connecticut High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame, the Connecticut Field Hockey Hall of Fame, and the New-Agenda Northeast Women’s Hall of Fame.