Name: Sharon Lewis
Nickname: The Boss Lady
Title: Assistant AD/Football Recruiting and Alumni Relations
Claim to Fame: Track Star Turned Recruiting Czar
Sharon Lewis is used to firsts.
As an All-SEC heptathlete and high jumper at LSU, first place trophies came fast and frequently. As LSU’s assistant athletic director for football recruiting and alumni relations, Lewis is the first woman to oversee recruiting operations for an SEC program. And in the same role, she’s usually the first point of contact for potential recruits.
Everyone knows The Boss Lady, and The Boss Lady knows everyone.
“I’m at every official visit,” says Lewis. “I’m at every unofficial visit. Every player that comes through this building, I’m with them.”
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“When I first started, there were no ladies,” Lewis says. “At all. Now, I’m proud to say there are many women in the field of football.”
Lewis’ duties include coordinating and overseeing every official and unofficial visitor LSU hosts. Numbers easily reach the hundreds on game days, once families and friends are factored in.
“I’m more or less about your son and how he’s going to develop academically and socially,” she says. “I’m a mother. I look at it from that point. If I send my son somewhere, who are the people, outside of the coaches, in care of my son? I answer those questions.”
Lewis joined Nick Saban’s staff in 2001 as a recruiting coordinator, and she’s remained at LSU through the tenures of Les Miles and now Ed Orgeron. She jokingly calls Saban “the other guy” at first, but credits him – by name – for empowering her early on to begin attending football conferences and breaking up traditional boys’ clubs.
“When I first started, there were no ladies,” she says. “At all. Now, I’m proud to say there are many women in the field of football.”
That empowerment continued through Miles – who promoted her to the role she holds now, the SEC’s first and only Assistant AD for Football Recruiting, in 2007 – and Orgeron.
“Coach O has promoted me even more – speaking in meetings, going over recruiting news,” she says. “These coaches have allowed me do to my job. They trust me.”
Entering her 17th season, Lewis says recruiting is bigger than ever, which means her work essentially never stops. The reward is worth it, though.
“It’s good seeing now the guys – you meet them so young – then they sign here, play, go to the league, and then they have kids of their own,” she says.
“I love what I do.”