|Alma Mater:||Georgia Southern|
Debbie Hensley was named the interim head coach of LSU soccer on Monday, June 24, 2019.
Hensley spent 12 years as a member of LSU’s coaching staff from 2005-2016, the last nine as an associate head coach.
During her initial stint in Baton Rouge, Hensley proved her importance by helping LSU develop into an championship-contending program in the SEC.
Hensley has 21 years of coaching experience at the Division I level and she most recently served as LSU’s associate head coach from 2008 to 2016. Her coaching career began as an assistant at Furman University from 1996 to 1998. She was the head coach at Western Carolina for six years from 1999-2004 as she started the program from scratch; during her time at Western Carolina, Hensley compiled a record of 59-50-11 before she came to Baton Rouge to assist with LSU soccer.
Her passion for collegiate soccer paid dividends on the field as she helped build LSU into the championship-contending program it is today. One of the most successful runs in program history came from 2007 to 2011 as the Tigers claimed four SEC West titles and made four trips to the NCAA Tournament in a five-year span during the 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2011 seasons. LSU made its fifth trip to the NCAA Tournament with Hensley on staff in 2015 as well.
LSU was regularly on the cusp of claiming SEC regular season titles with a trio of second-place finishes on the league table in that five-year stretch. It included a record-breaking 2009 season during which the Tigers finished in second place in the final conference standings for the second year in a row while tying their school record for wins with a 15-4-5 overall record and establishing a school record output with an 8-2-1 mark and 25 points in SEC play. LSU was close to matching that effort in 2011 as the SEC runner-up again with an 8-3 conference record.
In 2010, the Tigers advanced to the SEC Tournament semifinal for the fourth season in a row, joining the Florida Gators as the only programs in the SEC to advance to the semifinal round of the conference tourney in each season from 2007-10. The Tigers solidified their NCAA resume with another run to the SEC Tournament semifinal in 2015 as the No. 7 overall seed.
Hensley has been a driving force in that success as she has established a reputation as one of the nation’s top recruiters attracting many of the best players in the country to Baton Rouge.
She led the way in LSU signing its first ever Top 25 recruiting class in 2005 as the Tigers were ranked No. 25 on the recruiting trail in her first season on staff. Hensley followed that effort in 2006 by helping LSU sign the first Top 10 recruiting class in the program’s history with a crop of future stars ranked No. 7 nationally in the Soccer Buzz Magazine recruiting rankings.
The Class of 2006 is the most decorated class in the history of the LSU Soccer program as it completed its eligibility in 2009 with a class record of 50 wins in four seasons from 2006-09. The group captured three SEC West titles, earned three NCAA Tournament selections, placed No. 2 in the final SEC standings twice and combined for 10 All-America and 12 All-SEC picks in four seasons in Baton Rouge.
A foundation is in place for the Tigers to compete at the highest level of college soccer for years to come after welcoming three-straight recruiting classes to Baton Rouge for the 2012, 2013 and 2014 seasons that were all rated among the Top 15 nationally on National Signing Day.
The Tigers will line up with an international flair in 2016 as this year’s squad features 10 players with international experience as products of the Women’s National Team systems in Australia, Canada, Colombia, England, New Zealand and the United States.
Hensley compiled a 60-52-9 record in six years at Western Carolina after starting the program from scratch prior to the 1999 season. She led the Catamounts to a 10-9-1 record and a Southern Conference Tournament appearance in her inaugural season and was named the SoCon Coach of the Year in 2001 after guiding the team to the Southern Conference regular season title with a 16-6 overall record and 8-2 mark in league play.
Hensley coached seven players to 11 All-Southern Conference honors in her time at Western Carolina, a total that includes three first-team selections. In addition to her duties as head coach of the program, Hensley also served as university’s Assistant Athletics Director and Senior Woman Administrator.
Prior to her stint at WCU, Hensley spent three seasons as an assistant coach at Furman where she recruited eight players who earned all-conference accolades in their careers.
Along with her coaching achievements, Hensley garnered recognition during her athletic career as a soccer and softball standout at Georgia Southern where she was a three-time first-team All-SoCon selection and led the conference in scoring as both a junior and a senior.
Hensley was selected to play in the Umbro Select College All-Star Classic after being named an NSCAA Regional All-American and All-Region honoree in 1995, and she was named the Georgia Female College Athlete of the Year by the Georgia Hall of Fame the same year.
The two-sport standout was also a first-team all-conference selection in softball as she set the Georgia Southern career record for stolen bases and runs scored. Hensley’s performance as a student-athlete at Georgia Southern earned her an induction into the GSU Athletics Hall of Fame this year as part of the University’s Class of 2016.
Hensley graduated with a bachelor’s degree in education from Georgia Southern in 1996 and a master’s degree in health and exercise science from Furman in 1998.
Playing and Coaching Experience
Years Capacity School
1993-95 Player Georgia Southern
1996-98 Assistant Coach Furman
1999-2004 Head Coach Western Carolina
2004-07 Assistant Coach LSU
2008-16 Associate Head Coach LSU
2019 Interim Head Coach
Head Coaching Record