Latest in a series, offering an inside look at some of the meaningful items that line the walls in the offices of Notre Dame's head coaches.
Lauren Brewster, a two-time All-American and one of the program's most decorated players, is the latest addition to the Notre Dame coaching staff, returning to her alma mater in June 2007. She joins head coach Debbie Brown's coaching staff after serving since August of '06 as a marketing and sales manager of Team Connection, Inc., in High Point, N.C.
Brewster enjoyed a stellar four-year career as a middle blocker with the Irish program from 2002-05 as she led her teams to four regular-season and three BIG EAST Tournament titles and four NCAA Tournament appearances, including a berth in the round of 16 in 2005. During her four seasons, Irish teams compiled a 98-28 for a 77.8 winning percentage.
Brewster ranks among Notre Dame's top-10 leaders in 18 career, season and match categories. She is the school's all-time career leader in total blocks (734), block assists (610), percentage of games played (.969) and is tied for first in percentage of matches played (1.000), ranks second in hitting percentage (.314) and block average (1.65), third in solo blocks (124), kills (1.485) and matches with 10 or more kills (81) and fifth in kill average (3.34).
"I'm extremely excited to have Lauren back on campus and involved with our program," Brown said. "She brings many positives elements with her. She obviously was a very successful student and athlete as an All-American and an Academic All-American during her playing career. She will be a tremendous resource for our student-athletes.
"Part of the reason Lauren was such an outstanding player was her ability to be a true student of the game. I have witnessed her sharing her knowledge with teammates and campers and she has proven to be a great teacher. Her strong interpersonal skills, her teaching ability and her love of volleyball and Notre Dame combine to make her the ideal assistant coach. Lauren will be a tremendous addition and asset to our program."
As a senior, Brewster was a co-captain and helped Notre Dame capture both the BIG EAST regular-season and tournament crowns en route to a final 30-4 campaign. Just the second player in the program's history to earn All-American honors, she was a second-team All-American selection by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) after earning third-team honors as a junior in 2004 and honorable mention honors in 2003. Brewster played in 124 matches and finished with 476 kills, 202 total blocks and had a hitting percentage of .310. She was the Collegiate Volleyball Update National Player of the Week in September of '05 and also was MVP of both the Shamrock Invitational and USTA Dome Rally.
In addition, Brewster was one of just five Division I players to earn AVCA All-America and Academic All-America honors as a second-team selection to the ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-America squad in '05 as she became the program's third-ever Academic All-American. She also is among 49 Irish student-athletes who have earned All-America and Academic All-America honors in the same season.
A three-time unanimous first-team all-BIG EAST selection and three-time AVCA All-Northeast Region honoree, Brewster led the nation in blocking with 1.78 blocks per game in 2003 and was a major factor in her team leading the nation in blocking that season with 3.72 per contest. Notre Dame finished in the top six nationally in blocks in each of her four seasons. Brewster played in 444 game during her career and finished with 734 total blocks, 1,485 kills, 439 digs and a .314 hitting percentage.
A four-time member of the BIG EAST Academic All-Star Team, the Brentwood, Tenn., native was named the BIG EAST Championship Most Outstanding Player in 2004 and led the conference in eight statistical during her career (the most of any Irish volleyball player). She also garnered BIG EAST player-of-the-week honors on eight occasions during her career and led the league in blocking in both overall and conference play in 2002, '03 and '04 and tied for lead in '05.
Brewster graduated from the Mendoza College of Business with a bachelor's degree in marketing and sociology.
"I am so excited to be returning to Notre Dame as an assistant coach." Brewster said. "I have such a passion for Notre Dame, the athletic department and the volleyball program. I'm fortunate to have the opportunity to be working for someone like Debbie Brown because she is so respected in the field and I look forward to have the chance to learn from her first hand.
"The current players, as well as those coming into the program the next couple of years, have the potential to make the next several years at Notre Dame very exciting and special. I'm excited that I will have the opportunity to work with the players and coaches as we work toward the goal of having one of the nation's top volleyball programs."