Laura Jackson joins KU soccer coaching staff

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas soccer head coach Mark Francis announced Friday the addition of Laura Jackson to the Jayhawk coaching staff as an assistant coach. Jackson brings a wealth of both coaching and playing experience, spending four seasons and two seasons, respectively, on the coaching staffs at Idaho and Florida Atlantic, while also attaining international caps and All-League status as a player.

“I did an extensive national search to find a candidate for our vacant assistant coaching position,” said Francis. “I was very specific in terms of what we needed and Laura ticked all the boxes. She has six years of DI coaching experience, including 3 conference championships in the last 4 years. She has also played at the DI level as well as in the English Premier League. She will help us off the field in the mental aspect of the game as she has a doctorate in Sports Psychology with an emphasis on team and individual psychological performance. Laura’s personality was also a great fit with our staff and we look forward to working with her this upcoming season.”

Prior to coming to Kansas, Jackson spent two highly successful years as an assistant coach for Florida Atlantic. She helped lead the Owls to a pair of impressive seasons that saw FAU reach the Conference USA tournament semifinals in both 2017 and 2018 as well as the C-USA regular season title last season, the program’s first league championship since 2005.

“I feel so fortunate to join the soccer staff here at Kansas,” said Jackson. “Coach Francis and his staff have an incredible reputation within collegiate soccer and I’m so excited to help take their already successful program to new heights within the Big 12 and on the national stage.”

A native of London, England, Jackson went to Boca Raton from the University of Idaho, where she spent four seasons on the coaching staff. She helped to lead the Vandals to back-to-back Big Sky regular-season titles in her last two years, which included an undefeated conference mark in 2015 (9-0-1), followed by the squad going 7-1-2 in 2016. Overall, Idaho was 24-9-7 during that span, and their 2015 record compared to the season prior was most improved in the NCAA.

Jackson has continued to her own playing career, seeing time with Jamaica’s 26-person provisional squad for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. She notched international caps in Jamaica’s matches vs. Chile, South Africa and Panama.

Jackson began her collegiate playing career at Syracuse and finished it at Iona, where she was twice named All-Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and was team captain and a MAAC All-Tournament team member in 2012. She also student coached at Iona before making the move to Idaho, and has experience with both goalkeepers and field players. In 2016, she gained entry into the NSCAA’s prestigious “30 Under 30” program, identifying the top young soccer coaches nationwide.

Prior to her collegiate playing career, Jackson was a member of the Watford club team in the English Premier League, as well as part of the Arsenal Youth Academy. In addition to her college coaching experience, she has also coached club soccer with Moscow United/Quad City Fusion and Idaho Elite Soccer Academy.

Jackson earned her master’s degree in neuroscience from Idaho and received her PhD from the school in sports science (with a concentration on team and individual psychological performance) in December 2018. She received her undergraduate degree in biology from Iona, and twice while at Syracuse, made the athletic director’s honor roll.

She has earned us USSF C License as well as a Premier Diploma and Advanced National GK licenses from the United Soccer Coaches.