Laura Aubrey completed her fifth season as head coach of the University of Louisville rowing program in 2012 after serving three seasons as an assistant with the Cardinals.
In 2011, Aubrey led the Cardinals to its second BIG EAST Conference varsity eight championship and a runner-up finish in the conference team event. Louisville had four rowers earn All-BIG EAST accolades as Erin Bennett and Anastasia Prokopenko were named to the first team while Morgan Dunham and Lauren Mensch-Speelman were selected to the second team. U of L also earned varsity eight wins over No. 10 Wisconsin and No. 16 Tennessee.
In her third season at the helm in 2010, Louisville spent multiple weeks in the USRowing/Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association NCAA Coaches' Poll with wins over No. 11 Wisconsin and No. 17 Dartmouth. The Cardinals closed the season with three rowers earning All-BIG EAST honors (Bennett, Ashley Edwardson, Samantha Seldon) and two rowers earning CRCA All-South Region accolades (Bennett, Lauren Mensch).
During her second season as head coach, she led Louisville to its first ever BIG EAST Conference championship as the Cards won the Varsity 8+ title in Pennsauken, N.J., on April 25, 2009. U of L finished more than four seconds clear of second-place Notre Dame at Cooper River Park. Overall, the Cards finished third in the BIG EAST team standings, while Louisville's varsity eight crew closed the season ranked 18th in the USRowing/CRCA Varsity Eight Coaches' Poll. The team also had a pair of rowers named to the CRCA All-South Region First Team (Kristin Falovo, Mallory Hamman).
In her first season in charge of the program in 2008, Aubrey led the Cards to a top 20 national ranking, a third straight BIG EAST team runner-up finish and a top 10 finish in the Championship 8+ event at the prestigious Head of the Charles Regatta and helped develop the program's third CRCA All-American, Kristin Falovo, who also became the Cards' first underclassman to earn All-America honors.
"In the process of doing our national search, it quickly became clear that Laura was a star," said U of L senior associate athletic director Julie Hermann. "She is a critical reason why we were ranked in the Top 20. I look forward to her leading us forward to compete for the BIG EAST title and an NCAA bid. I expect her to be a great leader for the program."
Aubrey, a native of Raleigh, N.C., joined the Cardinals' rowing program in the summer of 2004 working primarily with the second Varsity 8+ crew and the Varsity 4+ crews while also assisting with the development of the novice program and the recruitment of U of L's future rowing talent.
Under Aubrey's guidance in 2007, the Cards' second Varsity 8+ and Varsity 4+ crews each won BIG EAST titles to lead the program to a runner-up team finish overall. The Cards' second Varsity 8+ crew also advanced to the Grand Finals at the Aramark South/Central Region Sprints for the first time in the program's history, finishing sixth overall, while in 2006, U of L's second Varsity 8+ boat qualified for the Petite Finals at the Aramark South/Central Region Sprints for the first time in school history.
"I truly enjoy working with such a phenomenal group of athletes and women who continue to strive to reach a higher level of national recognition," Aubrey said. "It's an honor to be part of the Cardinal Family and supported by such an outstanding athletic department."
Overall in 2007, the Cards' varsity program had its best season ever with three Varsity 8+ wins over Top 20 teams and the program's highest national ranking ever at No. 16 on March 28. U of L closed the season ranked No. 17 in the final USRowing/CRCA Varsity Eight Coaches' Poll after earning a victory in the Varsity 8+ petite final at the Aramark South/Central Region Sprints. The season closed for the Cards with senior Beth Daunhauer earning CRCA Second Team All-America honors, becoming just the second Cardinal rower in school history to earn such an honor.
The Cards also enjoyed great success off the water in 2006-07 as a school record 10 U of L rowers earned CRCA National Scholar-Athlete recognition, including seven underclassmen who competed for the Cards in 2007-08. The Cardinal rowing program had seven athletes named to the Dean's List in 2006-07 with a 4.00 GPA and a total of 55 rowers were named Red & Black Scholars in 2007 with a minimum 3.0 GPA.
In 2005-06, Aubrey was instrumental in the development of the Cards' Varsity 8+ crew which closed the season ranked 20th in the final USRowing/CRCA Coaches' Poll, the program's highest end-of-season ranking at the time. U of L had five rowers earn CRCA All-Region honors in 2005-06, the most by any school in the Southern Region and tied for tops in the nation. Beth Daunhauer, Jessica Grigsby and Jenna Sample earned CRCA South Region First Team honors, while Nicole Alderson and Lisa Terreberry were named to the CRCA All-South Region Second Team.
As a team, the Cards finished third in the South and ninth overall at the 2006 NCAA South/Central Regional Sprints in Oak Ridge, Tenn., while U of L continued its success at the prestigious Head of the Charles Regatta with a victory in the Club 4+ event, marking the fifth straight year the Cards had medaled at the world's largest regatta. Off the water, the Cards had three rowers -- Nicole Alderson, Beth Daunhauer and Lisa Terreberry -- named CRCA National Scholar-Athletes.
Aubrey joined the U of L rowing program after a combined six years of rowing and coaching experience at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While at Carolina, she served as the novice coach and recruiting coordinator. Aubrey's crews experienced much success under her guidance with Top 5 finishes at the Head of the Chattahoochee for two consecutive years, a bronze medal at the 2004 Dad Vail Championships and a strong finish at the 2004 NCAA South Central Championship.
A 2001 graduate of the University of North Carolina, Aubrey earned her degree from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication with a concentration in public relations. Aubrey helped lead the Tar Heels to a Top 25 finish for the first time and was a two-time letter winner. During her senior year, she earned MVP honors as well as being named to the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association All-South Region Second Team.
Laura was married to Keith Aubrey in 2009 and the couple has one daughter, Elise.