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Baylor Soccer

Baylor Names DBU's Michelle Lenard as New Soccer Head Coach

December 11, 2021
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WACO, Texas – Baylor named Michelle Lenard as its newest soccer head coach Saturday afternoon.

The Lubbock, Texas native comes to the Bears from Dallas Baptist University where she spent 14 seasons building that program into a consistent power at the NCAA Division II level.

Lenard compiled a 200-77-26 record with the Patriots, winning 13 conference championships (seven regular season, and six conference tournament), training nine All-Americans and 91 all-conference players, earning eight NCAA tournament appearances including a 2021 final four appearance, plus winning multiple conference coach of the year honors.

Other accolades from her time at DBU include a 2015 trip to the Elite Eight and a regional coach of the year award from that same season as well as the same award this past year. Also, the Patriots’ 2021 regular season conference title made seven straight years winning at least one of the conference titles.

Over the last three seasons, the Patriots have lost only six games and drew only a further four.

The Patriots competed in the NCAA Division II Heartland Conference up until 2019, when they moved to the Lone Star Conference.

DBU’s main competitor from their days in the Heartland Conference, St. Edward’s made the move with them, so coach Lenard’s continued success at the top of the conference is all the more impressive.

She helped grow the Patriots’ women’s soccer program from a 5-12-1 team in 2007 to the top dogs of their conference as evidenced by the accolades above.

What I find particularly promising, is the advancement from not just competing with St. Edward’s every year but starting to pass them by consistently over the last few years.

It is one thing to take your program a step up, but to keep pushing on to the next goal and show consistent growth year over year is impressive.

For more perspective, her team was ranked 7th nationally after the shortened spring season and 5th nationally at the end of this past campaign.

As far as style of play goes, DBU under Lenard seemed to play a more possession-based game than Baylor did under Jobson. They were also booked less often than the Bears, so expect an interesting blend between a physical team and a coach who has had success using a less physical style of play.

DBU looked like they used a four at the back system for defense, so that should provide some consistency between coaches. Otherwise, the step up to the Big 12 from division two should make Lenard’s tactical and stylistic decisions to start her Baylor tenure harder to predict.

SicEm365
Coach Lenard and her family

By all accounts, Baylor has landed a great coach with a proven track record of building a program, and she also knows the region for recruiting. It seems as though Mack Rhoades has done it again. He has made another really solid hire.

Not to mention that Lenard is also stepping into a good situation at Baylor. While the Bears are losing the best goalkeeper in program history along two great players in defense/defensive midfield, there is a lot of talent returning and it all fits the culture that Paul Jobson established.

A cohesive team that finished third in the Big 12, with strong players across the field, as well as a good recruiting class with five signees so far is a good jump start for coach Lenard.  

So from all of us here at Sic’Em365 welcome to Coach Michelle Lenard and her family!

A couple of other notes about the new head coach:

Before her time at DBU, Lenard played college soccer at North Texas from 1999-2002 and was an all-Sun Belt player.

She played semi-professionally with the Ft. Collins Force and Everton FC America in 2002 and 2005 respectively.

During that time, she was also starting her coaching career at Texas Women’s University from 2003-04 and at UNT from 2004-05.

Lenard earned her B.S. in Kinesiology from UNT and a Master’s of Education in Kinesiology from DBU.

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Baylor Names DBU's Michelle Lenard as New Soccer Head Coach

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