“Laura Brainard has the unique and rare combination of many talents,” Boenig said of Brainard. “From experience and expertise in both Western events, to being a former SEC equestrian student-athlete, to coaching an SEC team as a volunteer for a year, no person could match all those skills. In addition to her skills, she is also passionate about developing our riders outside of the arena. I know that her leadership and genuine support for each of our athletes will continue to foster excellence in our program. Our pool of candidates has never been so competitive and Laura rose to the top. We are very excited to have Coach Brainard join our family!”
“I am ecstatic to be a part of such a prestigious team and university,” Brainard said. “I have tremendous respect for Coach Boenig, Coach Anderson and the entire athletic staff at Georgia. Needless to say, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work alongside them in one of the top programs in the country. As someone who performed in the SEC and Big 12, I know what it takes to achieve a national championship title. This team has immense drive and a large depth of talent, which will, without a doubt, make for an exciting season. I am truly honored to be a part of the Bulldog family and I cannot wait to hit the ground running.”
Brainard comes to Georgia after spending the last season as a volunteer assistant coach at Texas A&M. During her tenure at Texas A&M, she worked closely with the coaching staff to strategize, prepare and achieve goals for the equestrian program. Additionally, she helped organize home competitions, assisted with Western Team practices and assisted with improving riding techniques of equestrian student-athletes.
Before her time as a volunteer assistant coach, she spent four years as a member of the Texas A&M equestrian team. During her time with the Aggies, she helped the Western Team to a pair of national titles in 2011 and 2012, as well as leading Texas A&M to the 2012 NCEA National Championship. She was named the NCEA Rider of the Month in October of 2012 and the Southeastern Conference Rider of the Month in March 2013. She was also named to the All-SEC Championship Horsemanship Team in 2014. For her efforts during her senior season, she was named the Most Outstanding Player in Horsemanship for the Aggies.
In addition to her success in the area, Brainard also excelled in the classroom. She was named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll, the NCEA Academic Honor Roll and was a Texas A&M Athletics Scholar.
Brainard graduated with a B.S. in Agriculture Economics from Texas A&M in 2013 before completing her Master of Science degree in Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communications in May of 2014.