Since Lawson became athletic director in 2002 Cumberland University has made 22 national championship appearances, and has earned several titles, including a 2004 national championship in baseball. Cumberland has also been active in new construction and facility renovation in virtually every sport. The college has over 450 student-athletes in 14 sports.
"We hate to see Pat go," said CU President Dr. Harvill Eaton, "he has been central in this athletic department since he was a student. He has made a mark on the program here."
Dr. Eaton indicated the university would conduct a national search for Lawson’s replacement and that he expected to see, "very strong candidates apply."
Longtime baseball coach Woody Hunt was glowing in his praise for Lawson’s tenure at Cumberland.
"I can’t say enough good things about Pat," Hunt said, "he was always very caring and accommodating. He did a great job for us day in and day out. I wish him the very best."
Lawson will be responsible for the administration of the overall athletic program at the 84-year-old Catholic school.
Ryan president Jim McIntyre said that the search process attracted a high caliber of candidates from various parts of the nation, but that Lawson emerged as the clear selection.
"Pat has been a successful A.D. who had demonstrated exceptional ability for the administrative and fiscal functions. But he also has a vision that has proven successful because of his commitment to athletic excellence, student/athlete development and the highest standards of competition and sportsmanship. We are pleased to welcome him to the Father Ryan staff," McIntyre said.
Lawson will begin his duties on July 1. He joins the school following another successful athletic season, and with plans developing for the first ever on-campus athletic complex at Father Ryan.
He is a member of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), the NAIA, including service on the organization’s administrative council, the Athletic Directors Association, the Gender Equity Committee and the Women’s Basketball Ratings Oversight Committee.
He’s also Vice-President of the TranSouth Athletic Conference and a member of the Wilson County / Lebanon Chamber of Commerce Sports Council and the City of Lebanon Sports Commission. He is President-elect of the Rotary Club of Lebanon.