Aug. 1, 2012
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Kelly Amonte Hiller's already formidable coaching tree added a few more branches during the summer of 2012, with several former Northwestern players and coaches moving into new Division I coaching posts.
Below is a look at some of the recent hirings and promotions around the country that involve a host of key contributors from Northwestern's seven NCAA championships in the last eight seasons:
Ann Elliott, who was part of six national titles as a player and coach in Evanston, officially began her tenure as the inaugural women's lacrosse head coach at the University of Colorado on June 1. Elliott, who served as associate head coach in her fourth and final year on Amonte Hiller's staff, announced in March that she would be Boulder-bound to get the Buffs' program off the ground.
On June 14, Elliott tabbed a former teammate with her first assistant coaching hire, naming two-time Tewaaraton Award winner Hannah Nielsen to her staff in Boulder. Nielsen, the NCAA's all-time leader in career assists with 224, had spent the previous two seasons as an assistant at Towson University.
Replacing Elliott at Northwestern is another former Wildcat standout, 2010 graduate Danielle Spencer
. A two-time IWLCA All-American, Spencer was a prolific scorer and draw control specialist for the Wildcats and joins Amonte Hiller's staff after one year as an assistant at Stanford University.
Acacia Walker, who spent three seasons as an assistant in Evanston from 2006-08, took over the reins as the head coach at Boston College on May 23. Less than two months later, Walker announced the hiring of 2012 Northwestern graduate and three-time All-American Alex Frank as her assistant coach. A native of Westwood, Mass., Frank brings with her to the Eagles a wealth of experience gained as a team captain of back-to-back NCAA championship-winning teams.
2011 Northwestern graduate Brooke Matthews will be making her return to the American Lacrosse Conference next season after she joined Missy Doherty's staff at NU's conference foe, Penn State. Matthews spent last year coaching at Mount St. Mary's after a playing career at Northwestern that saw her score 88 goals as a key contributor to three national championships.
Also in July, 2006 Northwestern alum and current Team USA member Sarah Albrecht was named the head coach at the University of New Hampshire. Albrecht previously was the associate head coach at Massachusetts where she worked alongside her former NU teammate and current head coach of the Minutewomen, Angela McMahon.
On July 27, North Carolina announced the addition to its staff of Northwestern's two-time first-team All-American attacker Katrina Dowd. A member of three NCAA championship-winning teams at NU and a current standout on the U.S. National Team, Dowd spent the 2012 campaign as an assistant at Syracuse, helping the Orange to their first-ever national title game appearance against Northwestern.
On the final day of July, Hofstra University announced that Shannon Smith, the 2011 national player of the year and the all-time leading goal-scorer in Northwestern history, would take over as head coach of the Pride. A native Long Islander, Smith will be right at home during her efforts to build Hofstra into a perennial contender in the challenging Colonial Athletic Association.
Late in August, Ann Elliott rounded out her coaching staff at Colorado with yet another NU product, 2011 graduate Colleen Magarity. A Philadelphia native, Magarity shined as a defender while with the Wildcats, captaining the team to the 2011 NCAA championship as a senior.
Finally, a third member of the 2012 senior class quickly entered the Division I coaching ranks when three-year starting goalkeeper Brianne LoManto was hired at Massachusetts by Angela McMahon. LoManto was 62-6 as a starting goalie for NU, made 448 career saves and twice was named to the NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team.
Former Northwestern Players Coaching in Division I
Sarah Albrecht (New Hampshire)
Ann Elliott (Colorado)
Angela McMahon (Massachusetts)
Lindsey Munday (Southern California)
Shannon Smith (Hofstra)
Kirstyn Atkinson (Drexel)
Hilary Bowen (Southern California)
Katrina Dowd (North Carolina)
Christy Finch (Ohio State)
Alex Frank (Boston College)
Caitlin Jackson (Iona)
Brianne LoManto (Massachusetts
Colleen Magarity (Colorado)
Brooke Matthews (Penn State)
Hannah Nielsen (Colorado)
Danielle Spencer (Northwestern)
Former Northwestern Assistant Coaches in Division I
Alexis Venechanos (Head Coach, Ohio State)
Acacia Walker (Head Coach, Boston College)
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! and subscribe to the NU Sports Express e-newsletter to receive 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!