CHICAGO -- In a testament to the impact she has had beyond her sport, Northwestern women's lacrosse head coach Kelly Amonte Hiller has been named a member of Crain's Chicago Business' 2013 class of "40 Under 40" honorees. The annual honor roll, released Sunday (Dec. 1), recognizes the most noteworthy and accomplished Chicagoland leaders from across all sectors of business and industry.
Crain's first launched its annual "40 Under 40" feature in 1989 and since then has recognized nearly 1,000 up-and-coming Chicagoans who have earned the title, including Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Rahm Emanuel, Billy Corgan, Lisa Madigan and Nate Silver.
In addition to Amonte Hiller, this year's collection of individuals who have reached the pinnacle of their fields before the age of 40 features the likes of Mike McAvoy (President and CEO of The Onion, Inc.), Adam Hitchcock (former chief of staff at the Council of Economic Advisers) and popular hip-hop artist Lupe Fiasco.
Amonte Hiller's on-field success since re-instating the Wildcats women's lacrosse program in time for the 2002 season speaks for itself: a run of seven NCAA championships in eight years between 2005-12, five National Coach of the Year honors and four different players coached to National Player of the Year accolades.
But it is Amonte Hiller's lead role in growing lacrosse in Chicagoland and beyond that contributed to her selection to this year's Crain's "40 Under 40" list. Capitalizing on the exposure that has accompanied her program's run of championships, Amonte Hiller actively promotes women's lacrosse at the local level through her involvement in youth leagues and camps, coaching clinics, speaking engagements and efforts to increase the game's TV visibility.
According to Crain's Chicago's Danny Ecker, Chicago Youth Lacrosse, which has year-round leagues for kindergarteners through 12th-graders around the city, has seen participation jump to 2,500 participants from 250 in 2009 across all of its leagues.
Throughout her tenure, Amonte Hiller also has consistently scheduled games for her Wildcats in non-traditional lacrosse cities and venues to attract new fans -- including an upcoming game against Southern California at Wrigley Field scheduled for April 26, 2014.
Last month, the NCAA announced that the city of Chicago was one of three finalist locations in the running to host the Division I men's and women's lacrosse championships beginning in 2015. The college game's premier event has never before been staged away from the Eastern seaboard.
Visit ChicagoBusiness.com to read more about Amonte Hiller's selection and all of this year's distinguished honorees, and click below for a brief video clip with the Wildcats head coach.