Feb. 4, 2014
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Kelly Amonte Hiller, the decorated head coach of Northwestern women's lacrosse and winner of seven NCAA championships in the last nine seasons, has received a contract extension to keep her on the sidelines in Evanston through the 2021 season, Vice President for Athletics and Recreation Jim Phillips announced Tuesday.
Amonte Hiller, who was hired by Northwestern in 2000 and coached her first varsity season in 2002, will have completed 20 seasons as head coach of the Wildcats upon serving out the duration of her current contract.
"Without question, Northwestern is thrilled that one of the most outstanding head coaches -- in any sport, at any university -- will remain a Wildcat well into the future," Phillips said. "Since reinstating our women's lacrosse team 12 years ago, Kelly and her program have represented the best of what Northwestern Athletics strives to be, on and off the field. She is a pioneer for her sport and for women's athletics in general, and we can't overstate the impact her players' achievements have had on Evanston and the surrounding communities. Looking ahead, we are excited to have Kelly leading Northwestern into the new era of the Big Ten Women's Lacrosse Conference beginning in 2015."
"I would like to express my gratitude to Dr. Phillips and President Schapiro for their incredible support of Northwestern Lacrosse and our student-athletes in recent years," Amonte Hiller said. "Their efforts make it possible for our program to achieve the goals we set for ourselves, first on a day-to-day basis and eventually in the form of conference and NCAA championships. I am determined to maintain our program's level of excellence for years to come and to continue to provide a superb academic and athletic experience for our student-athletes."
On Sunday (Feb. 9), Amonte Hiller is set to coach the first game of her 13th season as Northwestern head coach, having compiled an career won-loss record of 215-33 for an .867 winning percentage, best among active Division I women's lacrosse coaches and second all-time. A 2012 U.S. Lacrosse Hall of Fame inductee, she has been named the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) National Coach of the Year five times since 2005 and is a seven-time American Lacrosse Conference Coach of the Year.
In leading the Wildcats to its active streak of nine consecutive appearances in the national semifinals, Amonte Hiller has posted a career record of 34-3 in NCAA Tournament play, making her the all-time winningest postseason women's lacrosse coach both in terms of victories and winning percentage (.919).
In the last 10 seasons, Amonte Hiller's athletes have garnered a total of 12 national player of the year accolades (seven Honda Sports Awards, five Tewaaraton trophies) and 45 IWLCA All-America honors. They also have performed at a high level in the classroom, placing an average of 17 student-athletes per year on the Academic All-Big Ten roster over the last three seasons.
Since becoming the first lacrosse program from outside the Eastern time zone to win a national championship in 2005, Amonte Hiller has worked diligently to foster the growth of her sport in the Midwest and nationally. Her program has helped bring women's lacrosse to remarkable venues in emerging lacrosse hotbeds such as Dallas (Cowboys Stadium, 2011) and Los Angeles (L.A. Coliseum, 2013) and later this spring will host USC at iconic Wrigley Field in Chicago.
Amonte Hiller's winning ways at Northwestern have fueled the participation in and popularity of lacrosse at the youth and high school levels in the Chicagoland area, a feat that helped Amonte Hiller earn a place on Crain's Chicago Business' prestigious "40 Under 40" list in 2013. Last summer, ChicagoSideSports.com named Amonte Hiller one of the 25 greatest sports icons in the history of Chicago sports, making her both the only female and the only active coach or player on the list.
Amonte Hiller and the Wildcats begin their 2014 season Sunday (Feb. 9) when they face the University of Virginia in Atlanta, Ga.
Be the first to know what's going on with the 'Cats -- Follow @NU_Sports on Twitter, become a fan of Northwestern Athletics on Facebook, subscribe to the NU Sports Express e-newsletter and sign up to receive promotional text alerts for the latest news, schedule updates and video and to interact with NU. For more information on following specific Northwestern teams online, visit our Social Media page!