Former San Diego Padres Regional Crosschecker Ash Lawson joined the University of Tennessee baseball program as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator on Aug. 13. In addition to his recruiting responsibilities, Lawson will also coach the team's infielders, implement a baserunning program and assist Head Coach Todd Raleigh with hitting.
"I am extremely excited about adding Ash Lawson to our staff," Raleigh said. "Coach LeCroy did an absolutely fantastic job while he was here and I truly believe that Ash will step right in and continue to move our program forward. His resume both at the college level and the professional level with the Padres speaks for itself and, as a Tennessean, he certainly understands the unique responsibilities and expectations that come with working at the University of Tennessee."
Lawson, who hails from Athens, Tenn., was promoted to regional crosschecker by the Padres in January after serving five years as an area scout covering Georgia, Tennessee and South Carolina. During that time, he signed over 20 players, including three first-round picks and two supplemental round selections. Lawson was named the San Diego Padres Scout of the Year in 2006.
"The Padres were great to me and there is some remorse in leaving, but, like I told our assistant general manager last night, through all my years in professional baseball, the only place that I ever considered leaving for was the University of Tennessee," Lawson said. "Obviously, when Coach Raleigh called me I was excited, happy and honored to even be considered for this job.
"I've always thought this was a goldmine and I think the opportunity to win at Tennessee is unbelievable. You are wearing your state's name across your chest. What kid doesn't want to play at Tennessee? I look at this as a challenge, but my years in professional baseball have shown me what it takes to play in the SEC and what it takes to play in the big leagues. Now it's my job to find those kids and convince them to come play at Tennessee."
Prior to joining the Padres, Lawson was the head coach at Tennessee Wesleyan College from 1999-2004. He led the Bulldogs to three of the best seasons in school history, setting school records for wins in 2002 (38-20), 2003 (41-10) and 2004 (42-16) and winning the Appalachian Athletic Conference title in those three years. Lawson was also named the conference and region coach of the year in 2003.
In 1999, Lawson served as the interim head coach at Bluefield College where he piloted the Ramblin' Rams to the most wins in school history (29), as well as the program's first conference tournament championship and initial appearance in a regional tournament.
Lawson graduated in 1996 from Tennessee Wesleyan where he lettered in both baseball and basketball. He has also spent time as a volunteer assistant at Elon (1996-98) and has extensive experience in summer collegiate leagues, having served as an assistant coach on teams in the Coastal Plains League, Valley League and Arizona Summer Collegiate League.
A multi-sport standout at Avery County High School in Newland, N.C., Lawson attended Hiwassee College before graduating with a Bachelor of Science from Tennessee Wesleyan in 1996. He is married to the former Holly Hicks. The couple has one daughter, Lexi (4), and a son, Luke (2).
|THE ASH LAWSON FILE|
|Full Name: Ashley Scott Lawson|
|Born: Dec. 10, 1971|
|Hometown: Athens, Tenn.|
|Family: Married to the former Holly Hicks. The couple has one daughter, Lexi (4), and a son, Luke (2).|
|Education: Hiwassee College (A.A. 1993); Tennessee Wesleyan College (B.S. 1996)|
|Playing Experience: Hiwassee College (1991-93); Tennessee Wesleyan (1994-96)|
|Coaching/Scouting Experience: San Diego Padres Regional Crosschecker (2009-10); San Diego Padres Area Scout (2004-09); Tennessee Wesleyan Head Coach (1999-2004); Bluefield College Interim Head Coach (1999); Elon College Volunteer Assistant (1996-98); Wilson Tobs Assistant Coach (Coastal Plains League, Summer 1998); New Market Rebels Assistant Coach (Valley League, Summer 1997); Phoenix Marlins Assistant Coach (Arizona Summer Collegiate League, Summer 1996)|