Mackenzie Lawler enters her third season at the helm of the women's lacrosse program at the start of the 2020-21 school year, honing 17 wins and five losses. Grand Valley State Director of Athletics, Keri Becker, announced the hiring of Lawler as the new head coach of the Lakers' women's lacrosse program on July 10, 2018. Lawler becomes the second head coach in Laker lacrosse history.
Under Lawler's tutelage, three Lakers have earned regional honors from the IWLCA while ten have earned All-GLIAC honors.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2020 season was cut short, but the Lakers posted a 3-1 record that includes a win over No. 3, Lindenwood. Senior Abbi O'Neal was named to the Inside Lacrosse Women's DII Media All-America First Team with 21 points (17 goals, 4 assists). GVSU ended the season as the No. 10 team in the country in the final IWLCA DII Coaches Poll.
The 2019 season saw the Lakers go 14-4 overall, including a 10-1 mark in GLIAC play and an appearance in the GLIAC Tournament championship. The team ranked second in the conference in goals against average (7.14) and goals per game (16.83). Carly Shisler, Abbi O'Neal and Elizabeth Yeomans all earned IWLCA regional honors while ten earned All-GLIAC accolades. Shisler was named GLIAC Midfielder of the Year and was also honored with the opportunity to play in the IWLCA Senior All-Star Game.
Prior to joining the Lakers, she most recently spent four seasons as the first assistant coach at Central Michigan University, helping to launch the newly formed Chippewa lacrosse program. During her time at CMU, Lawler served as offensive coordinator as well as coordinator of recruiting, camps and film. In her final season at Central Michigan, the Chippewas held the tenth-best shooting percentage (47.8%) in Division I.
Lawler has also built one of the premier youth lacrosse programs in the state of Michigan. She founded Michigan Elite in 2011, serving as the administrator and head coach of a program that has grown to a staff of 10 coaches and over 150 athletes spread across seven teams; five in her hometown of Okemos and two in Grand Rapids. She graduated from Robert Morris University in 2014, where she was a three-year starter in the Division I Colonials' midfield and amassed 35 goals, 21 assists, 38 ground balls, 27 draw controls and 21 caused turnovers. During her collegiate career, Lawler also spent time as a youth and high school coach in both her home state and in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area where RMU is located.