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Northwestern, women's lacrosse coach Kelly Amonte Hiller agree to contract extension

Northwestern has extended the contract of women’s lacrosse coach Kelly Amonte Hiller through the 2021 season, athletic director Jim Phillips announced Tuesday.

"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 in a statement. "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."

Amonte Hiller, who coached Northwestern’s first season as a varsity program in 2002, guided the Wildcats to five consecutive NCAA Championships from 2005-09 and seven in the past nine seasons. Under her watch the Wildcats have finished first in the American Lacrosse Conference every year except one dating to 2004. Amonte Hiller’s career winning percentage of 0.867 ranks first among active Division I coaches.

"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."

Amonte Hiller has led the Wildcats to a 61-14 record in American Lacrosse Conference play – including six consecutive perfect conference records from 2005 to 2010 – and helped them reach nine consecutive national semifinals. Her winning percentage in NCAA Tournament play (0.919) ranks first all-time. In 2012 Amonte-Hiller was inducted to the U.S. Lacrosse Hall of Fame and has been named the ALC Coach of the Year seven times.

Last May the Wildcats suffered their worst NCAA Tournament loss of Amonte-Hiller’s tenure, an 11-4 beatdown at the hands of No. 3 North Carolina. No. 4 Northwestern opens its 2014 season Sunday against No. 8 Virginia.