ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- University of Michigan Donald R. Shepherd Director of Athletics Warde Manuel announced today (Monday, June 26) U-M's intent to hire two-time Tewaaraton Award winner and Australia women's national team member Hannah Nielsen as its new women's lacrosse head coach. Nielsen's target start date will be July 17, upon her return from England, where she will be competing with the Australia Women's National Team in the 2017 FIL Rathbones Women's Lacrosse World Cup.
"I am extremely excited and honored to be named the new head coach of the women's lacrosse program at the University of Michigan," said Nielsen. "I am excited to take the next step in my coaching career in becoming a head coach, and could not think of a better place to start this new chapter."
"I would like to thank Warde Manuel and Bitsy Ritt for this incredible opportunity and for their support so far," Nielsen added. "I am also grateful to Kelly Amonte Hiller, the Northwestern staff and athletic department for their ongoing support, and to my previous coaching mentors who have helped me get to this position. I am so excited to get started and for the future of this program."
Nielsen, who becomes the second head coach in program history, comes to Ann Arbor as a four-time national champion and two-time Tewaaraton Award winner. As a coach, she boasts eight years of coaching experience at the Division I level.
"I am thrilled to welcome one of the most accomplished women's lacrosse players of all-time to lead our program," said Manuel. "Hannah has proven her ability to translate her skills and knowledge of the game into a successful coaching career. She has been a winner at every level, and I am confident she is prepared to lead our women's lacrosse program."
One of the most decorated athletes to play the game of lacrosse, Nielsen most recently spent the 2017 season as an assistant coach at her alma mater, Northwestern University. She helped lead the Wildcats to a spot in the Big Ten Tournament championship game, and Northwestern advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
As a player at Northwestern (2006-09), she achieved the ultimate success, winning four national championships and receiving the sport's highest honors as a two-time Tewaaraton Award and Honda Sports Award winner in 2008 and 2009. She finished her career in purple and white as NU's all-time leader in points (398) and assists (224) and still owns those records to date. Her assist record also holds the top spot in the Division I record book. Nielsen started all 88 games in her Wildcat career and registered an 85-3 record in her four seasons. She was recognized by the Big Ten Conference for her success on the field and in the classroom, being named a two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree and the recipient of the conference's 2008 Suzy Favor Award, presented to the league's Female Athlete of the Year.
Nielsen earned her bachelor's degree in human development and psychological services from Northwestern in 2009. She was later inducted into the Northwestern Athletic Hall of Fame in 2014.
Before joining the staff at Northwestern, Nielsen was an assistant coach at the University of Colorado for two seasons (2014-15) under former NU teammate Ann Elliott. In its inaugural season, CU posted an 11-8 record overall and 6-3 mark in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation to earn the No. 3 seed in its first MPSF tournament. The Buffs went 11-7 in Nielsen's second year as an assistant, compiling a 22-15 record overall during her two years in Boulder.
Prior to transitioning to Colorado, Nielsen was a member of Towson University's staff and helped the Tigers to a 27-11 record in two seasons. During her stint at Towson, the Tigers captured two Colonial Athletic Association regular-season championships as well as the 2011 CAA Championship title. Towson was 11-7 in her first season in 2010 and improved to 16-4 in her second, setting a program record for wins in a season.
Following the conclusion of her playing career at Northwestern, Nielsen spent a season at Penn State University, helping the Nittany Lions to a 10-7 mark.
An Adelaide, Australia, native, Nielsen continues to compete at the highest level as a member of the Australia women's national team. She has competed in three World Cups, helping lead Australia to a gold medal in 2005, and was named an All-Star at the 2009 and 2013 World Cups. She will represent Australia in her fourth consecutive World Cup next month (July 12-22) in England prior to getting started in Ann Arbor.
"We wish Hannah the best of luck as she competes in the World Cup and will be eagerly awaiting her return to the States to begin leading our women's lacrosse program," added Manuel.