July 26, 2000
EVANSTON, Ill - Kelly Amonte-Hiller has been named as the head coach of women's lacrosse at Northwestern University, as announced today by athletic director Rick Taylor. Amonte-Hiller comes to Evanston to lead the resurrection of women's lacrosse, which had been a varsity sport at NU from 1983-91. During that span, the Wildcats played in the NCAA Tournament five times. Northwestern will play an "elevated-club" schedule next year prior to receiving official varsity status in time for the 2002 spring season.
"All of us are happy to have Kelly become a part of our program," said Taylor. "She undoubtedly is one of the greatest to ever play the sport. Kelly has earned the respect of her peers both on and off the playing field, and she is extremely well-connected in the lacrosse world with her continued participation on the national team and as a collegiate coach."
Amonte-Hiller will be known initially in the Chicago area as the sister of Chicago Blackhawks star Tony Amonte, but she is a standout athlete in her own right. In fact, she was the 1995 and 1996 NCAA Division I Lacrosse Player of the Year, leading Maryland to national titles in both seasons, and was a four-time All-American in lacrosse under former Wildcat head coach Cindy Timchal. In addition, she also earned All-America accolades in soccer for the Terrapins and was named the ACC Female Athlete of the Year in 1996 for all sports.
Amonte-Hiller graduated from Maryland in 1996 with a B.A. in speech communication. She ended her career as the school's all-time records for career goals (187), assists (132) and points (319, 70 more than second place). The Dean's List recipient is currently pursuing her MBA at Boston University.
For the past four years, Amonte-Hiller has coached on the collegiate level. During the 1997 and 1998 seasons, she served as the assistant women's lacrosse coach at Brown. In 1999, Amonte-Hiller served in a similar capacity at the University of Massachusetts. This spring, she helped guide Boston University to its first Top 10 ranking and an NCAA Tournament appearance.
Amonte-Hiller has been a member of the U.S. Women's National Lacrosse Team since 1993 and was a member of the 1997 World Championship squad. This past year, she was ranked 21st on Sports Illustrated's list of Massachusetts Greatest Sports Figures of the Century.
"I am very excited to become the head women's lacrosse coach at Northwestern," said Amonte-Hiller. "I was not originally planning on moving to Chicago, as I was just married. However, the prestige of the school, the potential of the program, and the support of the athletic department lured me to NU. I think the combination of these elements will help me build a successful program in a short period of time."