Political Science & Communications
Favorite Berkeley Eats:
La Burrita & Smart Alec's
Favorite Study Spot at Cal:
Favorite Watering Hole While at Cal:
I'm in the top 5 least likely alumni to have been out at the bars in college.”
Favorite Cal Soccer Memory:
Waiting for this.
Those of us that played alongside Laura Schott remember her intense drive to better herself and our program, her focus to score goals and win games, and her dry funny humor mixed with a thoughtful, quiet demeanor. Laura exuded excellence and mastery and we never questioned her ability to be the top-level athlete that she was. For more insight into who Laura was as a player at Cal, check out her Lair of Legends article.
And now years later, Laura is still exuding excellence and is top level. But now her avenue is coaching. After Cal, Laura played professionally in the last year of the WUSA for the Washington Freedom alongside Mia Hamm and Abby Wambach to name a few of the impressive players from that team. She had a pro stint in Russia (who knew, right?) and a great run with the Sacramento Storm when there was no other option for the greats of the game.
Those that know Laura know she has a deep connection to home and Oregon. After her playing days, she landed an awesome opportunity to coach first as an interim, then assistant, and finally head coach at Portland State University. While coaching at the collegiate level she also pursued the club level where she began her D and C licenses. It was at Portland State where we saw Laura take the growth mindset she played with and translate it into a large part of her coaching philosophy by scheduling challenging pre-season games before her conference games each season. This propelled her program into the top two teams in her conference for over 7 years straight. In her 9 years, Laura changed the program.
But all good things must come to an end. The schedule mixed with her family obligations led Laura to leave Portland State and move into the youth soccer landscape for the next several years. She continued to pursue her B and A licenses, often only being one of three women in her course. She worked as a DOC for FC Portland, ran US Training Centers for 5 years, side commentated for the Timbers 2 USL team, and currently plays an important role with the ThornsFC and their ECNL teams.
Laura has a unique coaching philosophy that pulls from her upbringing in the land of Clive Charles and her unwavering work ethic. She believes in meeting players where they are. She enjoys finding what makes them tick and coaching the person AND the player. She likes to work on the psychological level with a player and then get them to where they need to be technically. These values play a large role in the direction her coaching path takes her. In her own words, “Level isn’t a guide for me.” This has led to a new opportunity for Laura most recently.
During Covid, Laura began her own venture called Formation Sports. She would find fields and train high-level players. This led her to use an amazing field close by at George Fox University. Laura loved the facilities and location and ultimately took a job at the D3 school as a head coach. Although the level is different, the job is the same - meeting players where they are, making a difference, loving the game, and making an impact. It's a new challenge and as with all things Laura does, she will excel at it.
When asked where coaching may take Laura, she says, ‘You never know. I don’t close doors.” She likes to have her hand in lots of avenues of the game. Her advice for new coaches? Get involved in everything, never say never, licenses and education matter. Do what you can to differentiate yourself. Just because something might not fit right now, doesn’t mean it won’t be right for you later. Create your own path.
Just like we saw Laura lead by example on the field, we look forward to watching her lead through her example as a coach.
Written By: Kassie (Doubrava) Gray ‘04
Want more? Listen below to some clips from Kassie's interview with Laura!