Following a national search, the Emmanuel athletic department has appointed Danny Lawson as head men's basketball coach and assistant athletic director. Lawson becomes just the third head coach in the program's 17-year history and will assume all duties and responsibilities for the program effective Monday, June 11.
Lawson comes to Emmanuel after serving as an assistant coach last season at Endicott, where he helped coach the Gulls to a 19-9 season which included a win over a Top 10 opponent and an appearance in the Commonwealth Coast Conference championship.
He replaces Jamahl Jackson, who stepped down in early April after 14 seasons. The Saints were 3-22 this past season.
"I am very excited about the opportunity to be the next head coach of the Emmanuel men's basketball program," said Lawson. "It is a privilege to have been selected out of a group of talented coaches that applied for this highly sought-after position. I would like to thank all the administrators, staff and coaches on the selection committee that were involved in the hiring process. Emmanuel is truly a special place and I consider myself very fortunate to be a part of this great college community."
Prior to Endicott, Lawson spent nearly five years at Duquesne as both an assistant and director of basketball operations. During his time with the Dukes, he recruited, coached, and developed two A10 all-league student-athletes and three A10 Rookie Team selections. Lawson also served as a scouting director, coordinated player counseling and mentoring, and played a major role in all other aspects of decision making within the program, regarding in-game situations/substitutions/management and program development. His work on the academic side of the program also culminated in the squad earning the highest team GPA the program had ever achieved in eight years.
Other stops throughout Lawson's basketball career have included LIU Brooklyn (director of basketball operations), Le Moyne (assistant coach), the Boston Celtics (assistant video coordinator), and Bentley where he graduated from in 2007. As a Falcon, Lawson guided the squad as a student-athlete to a four-year record of 101-27, a No. 1 and No. 2 national ranking in NCAA Division II, a pair of winning streaks that lasted 32 and 22 games, respectively, an NCAA Elite Eight appearance (2007) and an NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearance (2005). Individually, Lawson was awarded the Senior Male Athlete of the Year award for his leadership and impact in 2007, while in 2005, Lawson earned the Frances M. Bennett Most Improved Player award.
Meanwhile, with the Boston Celtics, Lawson worked alongside Danny Ainge, Doc Rivers, and Tom Thibodeau during the 2008 NBA World Championship run completing the following duties: game film analysis and preparation of video edits, created scouting and personnel reports on all 29 NBA teams, assisted the coaching staff and the players during individual development workouts, practice, and pre-game routines, and lastly, conducted all NBA Draft Workouts.
"I am very excited for the future of our program under the direction of Coach Lawson," said McWilliams. "His personality and commitment to providing our student-athletes a positive experience, along with his rich coaching background, make him a great fit for the Emmanuel community."
Lawson is a 2007 graduate of Bentley with a bachelor's degree in behavioral sciences and received a master's in social science from LIU Brooklyn in 2012.