As a player and a coach, Laura Mapp pushed to place women’s sports as a non-stop force on the Virginia map. Her excellence in coaching and teaching marks her as one of the most successful and dedicated women in Virginia sports history.
Laura Mapp was an overall athlete. She played field hockey, basketball, and tennis at the University of Richmond. Before starting her successful career at Bridgewater College, Mapp taught for four years at Warwick High School and was an instructor for two years at Randolph-Macon Woman’s College.
In 37 years (1961-98) at Bridgewater College, Mapp proved she would be one of the most successful women’s coaches in Virginia. She accumulated 876 wins as head coach in basketball, field hockey, and tennis. She also served as Associate Athletic Director and Associate Professor of Physical Education. Her basketball teams compiled a 484-282 record and won three VAIAW state championships (1976, ’77 and ’80). Her teams also won two ODAC women’s regular season titles and one tournament championship. Mapp’s field hockey teams recorded 224 wins and won regional and state titles in the AIAW.
During this period, she also received many honors. In 1986, she received the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association’s prestigious Carol Eckman Award. Coach Mapp received many Coach of the Year awards and was elected to the University of Richmond Athletic Hall of Fame in 1987. In 1998, she was inducted into the Bridgewater College Athletic Hall of Fame. Because of her love of teaching, Mapp’s most coveted award was the Martha B. Thornton Faculty Recognition Award for excellence in teaching that she received in 1994. She was the head coach in three sports while simultaneously carrying a full teaching load, and even so in 33 years. Very few would undertake a teaching and coaching load such as this, but Coach Mapp did so while accumulating extraordinary successes.