Coaching Staff

Head Coach Rob McCarthy

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Rob McCarthy was named the head football coach at Lawrence University in January 2015.

McCarthy, who served as the defensive line coach at Carleton College and was the long-time defensive coordinator at St. Olaf College, is the 28th head coach in Lawrence's football history. A native of Deer River, Minn., McCarthy brings 25 years of coaching experience to Lawrence.

The fall of 2014 was McCarthy's first at Carleton after spending the previous 12 seasons at St. Olaf. While at St. Olaf, McCarthy was part of a coaching staff that put together the best 12-year record in school history with a 73-47 mark. McCarthy was responsible for bringing a number of stellar players to St. Olaf, including one (Horace Gant Jr.) that went on to play in the NFL, a number of All-Americans and many All-West Region and first-team All-Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference picks.

McCarthy served in a variety of roles, most notably as defensive coordinator, for the Oles. He also worked as the special teams coordinator and recruiting coordinator for St. Olaf, which won eight games in four different seasons during that 12-year span.

McCarthy began his coaching career at Concordia (Minn.) College, where he earned a bachelor's degree with a double major in English and speech, communications and theater arts in 1989. A standout defensive lineman for the Cobbers, McCarthy earned All-MIAC honors and helped his team to conference championships in 1986 and 1988.

After serving as an assistant coach at Concordia for the 1989 season, McCarthy moved to the University of St. Thomas (Minn.) in 1990. He served with the Tommies for five seasons and helped them win the MIAC championship in 1990. McCarthy then coached at Northwestern (Minn.) College and the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire over the next five seasons. He helped Northwestern win the 1995 Upper Midwest Athletic Conference title and was part of the UW-Eau Claire team that took the 1998 Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship.

McCarthy earned his Master of Science of Education in learning disabilities from UW-Eau Claire in 2000. He then returned to coach for one season at St. Thomas and one season at Pensacola (Fla.) High School before moving to St. Olaf.

McCarthy and his wife, Angie, have three children, and live in Appleton.


Offensive Coordinator Mark Speckman

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Mark Speckman brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Vikings and his role of offensive coordinator.

Speckman joined the staff at Lawrence after serving for the last two seasons as the running backs and tight ends coach of the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League. Speckman has a long and successful history as a head coach and is one of the experts in the game on the “Fly” offense.

Speckman was a head coach at the collegiate level for 15 seasons, including 14 at Willamette University. Speckman coached Willamette 1998-2011 and compiled a record of 83-59. The Bearcats won the Northwest Conference in 1999 and 2008 and made appearances in the NCAA Division III playoffs in 1999, 2004 and 2008.

Speckman’s 2008 team finished with an 11-1 record and was ranked as high as fourth nationally. Speckman was a finalist for the Liberty Mutual National Coach of the Year and was named American Football Coaches Association West Region Coach of the Year in 2008. Speckman, who has been named a conference Coach of the Year 10 times, also served as the head coach at Menlo College in 2012 before going to the Canadian Football League.

Speckman and his wife, Sue, have three children, and live in Appleton.


Defensive Coordinator Yon Boone

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Yon Boone joined the Lawrence staff in 2015 to lead the Vikings' defense. Boone came to Lawrence from Saint Anselm College, where he coached for the three years. Boone was the linebackers coach, special teams coordinator and recruiting coordinator at Saint Anslem.

Boone was part of the staff that led Saint Anselm to a 6-5 record in 2014. That was the first winning season for Saint Anselm in 14 years and tied the school record for victories in a season. Boone was the secondary coach upon his arrival at Saint Anselm before coaching the linebackers and serving in the coordinator roles his final two seasons.

Boone earned a master’s degree in sport administration from Eastern Kentucky in 2011. Boone was at Eastern Kentucky University in 2010 and 2011, where he served as a graduate assistant and coached two All-Ohio Valley Conference players and one first-team All-American. Boone also spent two years at Wofford College in defensive quality control for the secondary.

Boone broke into coaching when he interned at Hamline University, assisting with both video and recruiting. Boone earned a bachelor’s degree in social studies education from Hamline in 2008. Boone played three seasons on defense for the Pipers.

Boone and his wife, Brittany, are both natives of Naples, Fla., and have a daughter, Emma-Kate.


Defensive Line Coach Chris Cunningham

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Chris Cunningham joined the Lawrence staff in 2015 to coach the defensive line.

Cunningham came to Lawrence from the University of Pikeville, where he has worked for the 2014 season. At Pikeville, a NAIA school located in Kentucky, Cunningham served as the linebackers/special teams coach and head academic coordinator.

A native of Miami, Fla., Cunningham is a graduate of Dade Christian School where he was a two-time all-county and all-state football selection. He attended Eastern Kentucky University and earned a bachelor’s degree in sport management. A football player at Eastern Kentucky, Cunningham played defensive end and linebacker for the Colonels and helped them win an Ohio Valley Conference championship in 2008. A 2011 graduate of Eastern Kentucky, Cunningham was named a Colonel Scholar-Athlete for three consecutive years and was selected multiple times for the Dean’s List.

Cunningham remained at Eastern Kentucky, which competes in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision, and worked as a student assistant coach for the 2011 Ohio Valley Conference champions.

For the next two seasons, Cunningham served as a graduate assistant coach and guided the defensive backs. Cunningham, who earned his master’s degree in sports administration from Eastern Kentucky in 2014, coached a pair of All-Ohio Valley Conference defensive backs.

Cunningham and his wife, Nicole, were married in 2016.


Offensive Line Coach Mike Lynch

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Mike Lynch joined the Lawrence staff in 2015 and coaches the offensive line.

A native of Marysville, Calif., Lynch brought 42 years of coaching experience to Lawrence. Coaching at both the high school and college level, Lynch’s teams had great success. He was the offensive line coach at Granite Bay (Calif.) High School for 17 years and the team compiled a 155-40-1 record during that time while winning multiple conference and section championships and a state title. Lynch also spent 35 years as a head wrestling coach.

A retired educator, Lynch is a 1971 graduate of Humboldt State University where he starred in football and wrestling. Lynch has a master’s degree in physical education from the University of Idaho and a master’s in school counseling from the University of La Verne.

Lynch and his wife, Judy, have three adult children.


Running Backs Coach Phil Grams

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Phil Grams joined the Lawrence coaching staff in 2016 and is coaching the running backs.

Grams has a connection to Lawrence offensive coordinator Mark Speckman and has studied the "Fly" offense under Speckman since 2001. 

While running the “Fly” offense as the head coach at Capital Christian High School in Sacramento, Calif., Grams compiled a record of 48-11, including a 22-0 mark in league play. Grams' teams won four Golden Empire League championships and captured a San Joaquin Section title.

Grams won 2012, 2013 and 2015 Golden Empire League Coach of the Year honors and was the 2014 Max Preps Small School Coach of the Year in Northern California.

A native of Rockford, Ill., Grams relocated to Appleton after living in Sacramento since the late 1980s. Grams, who has more than 20 years of coaching experience, spent 10 years at Granite Bay (Calif.) High School. While at Granite Bay, Grams worked with current Lawrence offensive line coach Mike Lynch as the Grizzlies ran the “Fly” offense. Grams' record as an assistant coach is 100-19.

Grams and his wife, Sandy, live in Appleton with their son, Matt. The Grams' three adult children, Ryan, Jordan and Carly, all reside in California.


Wide Receivers Coach Logan Murakami

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Logan Murakami joined the Lawrence staff in 2016 and is coaching the receivers.

Murakami came to Lawrence from Honolulu, Hawaii, where he coached receivers for more than seven years, including in the offense known as the “Run and Shoot.”

Murakami has worked with Hawaii’s winningest high school coach, Saint Louis High School’s Cal Lee. Murakami closely worked with offensive coordinator Ron Lee and former offensive assistant June Jones, who served as head coach for the Atlanta Falcons, at the University of Hawaii and at Southern Methodist University. Saint Louis High School has been known for producing high-caliber quarterbacks from the Run and Shoot.

Murakami graduated from University of Hawaii at Manoa and earned a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and kinesiology. Murakami lives in Appleton.

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