When a vacancy on the NU coaching staff opened up following the 2012 season, Kelly Amonte Hiller immediately tapped one of her program's most successful players, 2010 alum Danielle Spencer, to fill the position. Spencer, a two-time All-American and member of three NCAA championship-winning teams during her playing days at NU, returned to Northwestern after gaining one year of coaching experience as an assistant at Stanford University.
"Northwestern holds a special place in my heart because it is my alma mater," Spencer said upon returning to Evanston, "and I look forward to the unique experience of returning to the University and contributing in this capacity."
Spencer is the third former Northwestern player under Amonte Hiller to return to NU as an assistant coach, following in the footsteps of Lindsey Munday and Ann Elliott.
"Danielle was an extremely hard worker and student of the game as a player and I am excited to see those qualities passed on to our current team," Amonte Hiller said. "Having accomplished all that she did as a member of our program, Danielle will do a great job guiding our players through all aspects of the Northwestern student-athlete experience."
In her first season back with the Wildcats, Spencer helped NU reclaim the American Lacrosse Conference championship with an 8-3 win over top-seeded Florida in the title game. Northwestern then advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Championship for a ninth consecutive season, finishing the year ranked No. 4 in the IWLCA rankings.
Spencer played in 83 games in her career with the Wildcats and made 65 starts, finishing her All-American career ranked second all-time at NU with 203 draw controls and eighth with 238 points (193 goals, 45 assists). Her 110 draw controls in 2010 marked the highest single-season total in Northwestern lacrosse history and still stands as the third-most for a single season in the NCAA Division I record book.
Spencer also was a three-time All-American Lacrosse Conference selection, garnering first-team recognition in 2009 and 2010. Academically, Spencer was a two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree and a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar in her senior year, graduating with a degree in social policy.
Following her days at Northwestern, Spencer earned a place on the U.S. Women's National Team for the 2011-12 competition season.
A native of Brighton, N.Y., Spencer came to Evanston after leading Brighton High to the state championship in 2005 and the state title game in 2004.