Texas Tech has found a new director and head coach for their national powerhouse chess team.

Al Lawrence was hired to take over as Director of the Texas Tech Chess Program and Alex Onischuk as head coach of the defending national champions of college chess.

Lawrence is the former executive director of the U.S. Chess Federation and the founder of the World Chess Hall of Fame.

Becoming a member of Texas Tech University’s championship chess program is a unique and exciting challenge that is the culmination of everything I’ve done in chess,” Lawrence said.

It is quite an honor to become part of the Texas Tech University community and I look forward to working with others in the program to continue its competitive excellence while involving more of Tech’s students and the Lubbock community in chess.”

Lawrence comes to Texas Tech from New York and assumed full-time duties as director in mid-July.

Onischuk currently the third ranked American chess player and a member of the U.S. Chess Olympiad Team which will compete in Instanbul, Turkey this September.

I am thrilled to be selected as head coach of the defending national collegiate championship chess team at Texas Tech and I hope to use my national and international chess experience to help the Texas Tech chess team successfully defend its championship,” Onischuk said.

Onischuk will be relocating from Virginia to Lubbock in October after he represents the United States in Instanbul this September.