KU soccer program hires new assistant

Kansas soccer coach Mark Francis talks about recruiting and how Rock Chalk Park influences recruits during KU fall sports media day Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015, at Hadl Auditorium.

The Kansas women’s soccer program has added a new face to head coach Mark Francis’ coaching staff.

Laura Jackson, a former assistant at Idaho and Florida Atlantic, officially joined the KU program Friday.

In addition to her six seasons of experience as a collegiate coach, Jackson earned all-league status during his two seasons as a player at Iona in 2011-12. A native of London, Jackson started her college playing career at Syracuse.

“I was very specific in terms of what we needed,” Francis said of the search that landed Jackson. “And Laura ticked all the boxes.”

Francis’ hope is that Jackson, who also has professional playing experience in the English Premier League, will bring more than just a sound knowledge of soccer strategy to the program.

“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,” Francis added in a news release announcing the hire. “Laura's personality was also a great fit with our staff and we look forward to working with her this upcoming season.”

Added Jackson in the release: "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."

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