One of the top distance runners in Pepperdine Waves cross country and track history is returning to the programs—but now as a head coach.
Lauren Floris, who set five Pepperdine running records before graduating in 2012, was named the head coach of the Waves men’s and women’s cross country and track teams on May 7.
Floris said her time as a student-athlete at Pepperdine was influential and she is thankful to return to Malibu.
“It is truly a dream come true,” said Floris in a statement. “We have an amazing group of athletes right now, both current and incoming, which will certainly make for an exciting 2021-22 season.”
Floris will begin leading the squads on June 7.
Waves Director of Athletics Dr. Steve Potts said the university happy to welcome Floris—who set records at Pepperdine under her maiden name, Lodge—back into the Pepperdine fold.
“Lauren is one of the most accomplished runners that we have ever had in our programs’ histories and she has continued to distinguish herself in her sport since she left Pepperdine,” Potts said. “Lauren’s strong commitment to our Christian mission and the holistic development of our student-athletes makes her a great fit for this position. I am thankful that Lauren has agreed to provide the leadership for our cross country and track programs.”
Floris set Waves records in the women’s 5K in cross country and in the 1,500-, 3,000- and 5,000-meter races and steeplechase in outdoor track during her four-year college career. In 2010, the standout athlete, now coach, earned All-West Coast Conference honors and placed fifth at the WCC Championships. Floris also was three-time WCC All-Academic first team honors, a four-time WCC Commissioner’s Honor Roll recipient and was a Pepperdine Scholar-Athlete.
She began competing in marathons in 2013 and ran to a spot in the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials. Floris finished fourth.
In 2015-16, Floris was the head cross country coach and assistant track coach at Orange Lutheran High School and was an assistant coach at California Baptist University from 2016-19. She founded Up + Running, a platform that coaches distance runners online and releases a distance running news podcast.
Floris is succeeding Sylvia Mosqueda as the track and cross country head coach. Mosqueda was fired on March 16 following multiple allegations for misconduct, according to reporting by the Pepperdine Graphic. She became the Waves’ head coach in May 2019, after serving as an assistant coach for a season.
On the track, Waves junior Karl Winter set his sixth Pepperdine track record on May 8 at the West Coast Distance Carnival. Winter finished the 800-meter in 1 minute 51.47 seconds. Winter has set Waves track records for every metric distance from 800-meter to 5K.
The track squad’s fourth and final race of the season is at the APU Last Chance Meet in Azusa on Friday and Saturday.
In February, the men’s cross country team finished fifth at the WCC Championships, while the women’s team placed 10th.