Kelly Amonte Hiller's coaching tree got a little larger Monday as Dartmouth College named former Northwestern women's lacrosse assistant coach Danielle Spencer its head coach.
Spencer was formally introduced at a press conference, where she thanked the Northwestern community but was excited to look towards the future and take the reins in Hanover.
"I would like to thank Athletics Director Harry Sheehy, Wendy Bordeau, and the entire athletic department at Dartmouth for making this incredible opportunity possible," Spencer said. "I am prepared for this opportunity because of the mentorship I received from Kelly as a player and coach at Northwestern. Dartmouth is a world-class institution that excels in Division I athletics. I am honored and extremely excited to accept this position and lead the women's lacrosse program."
Spencer was a standout first as a player for Northwestern, earning recognition as a two-time All-American and winning three national championships before becoming one of Amonte Hiller's top assistants. Her speciality on the staff was offense and she worked extensively in developing Northwestern's draw specialists. Spencer herself ranks second all-time at the school in draw controls.
Her presence will be missed not only on the Northwestern sidelines, but off the field as well. Spencer was the program's recruiting coordinator and is credited with securing the commitment of Selena Lasota, who has turned into one of the top players in the nation in her first two years on campus and was part of the school's top-ranked recruiting class of 2014.
Amonte Hiller's coaching tree stretches far and wide, with roots all across the country from Brown to USC and throughout the country in between. Spencer becomes the 13th former Amonte Hiller pupil-turned-head coach at a Division I program. There are an additional seven who are currently assistant coaches.
Northwestern's head coach was happy for Spencer to get the opportunity to lead her own program.
"This is a great choice by Dartmouth," Amonte Hiller said. "I could not think of a better role model and mentor for the Dartmouth women's lacrosse student athletes. Losing a great coach and a loyal friend is tough, but Spence is ready. I could not be happier for her."
Spencer becomes only the fourth head coach in Dartmouth's 44-year program history.