Ann Elliott
Ann Elliott (Northwestern)
The University of Colorado has hired five-time national champion Ann Elliott as head coach of its fledgling women's lacrosse program, several CU sources told the Camera.

Elliott will be introduced as the first head coach in the history of the program at a news conference today at 1 p.m., on the suite level at Folsom Field. She comes to Colorado from Northwestern where she spent much of the past decade as a player and assistant coach winning the 2005, 2006 and 2007 national titles as a defender and the 2009 and 2011 national championships as an assistant coach. Northwestern lost the national title game in 2010 to Maryland.

The only season Elliott was not a part of the program during that span was 2008 when she helped lead New Trier High School to the Illinois state championship.

Elliott was promoted to associate head coach prior to this season after three seasons coordinating the Wildcats' defense. Northwestern was one of the best defensive teams in the country in each of those three seasons and last season, allowed less than nine goals a game, which was eighth best in the nation.

"Ann has brought so much to our coaching staff and we would not have maintained the level of success we've had the last three years without her," Northwestern head coach Kelly Amonte Hiller said in January when announcing Elliott's promotion. "She is tireless in making sure our players are as prepared as possible for every game we play and as a former student-athlete at Northwestern is an invaluable resource for them. She is very deserving of this position and I continue to expect great things from her."

While Elliott is the first coach of the CU program she inherits three recruits who committed in the past seven weeks since the school announced Feb. 1 it would be starting a women's lacrosse team.

Tori Link, a midfielder from Cherry Creek High School, Ella Stapp, a midfielder from Mullen High School and Maddy Krause, a defender from Regis High School were successfully recruited by athletic director Mike Bohn, senior women's administrator Ceal Barry and compliance director Julie Manning.All three recruits mentioned that they had chosen CU with some concern over not knowing who would be coaching them.

"I'm extremely excited because she comes from a really strong program," Stapp said Sunday. "I would say it's absolutely a relief and it's even more of a relief that she is coming from somewhere that is so highly spoken of in the lacrosse world."

Elliott will have two assistant coaches to hire in the coming weeks as she turns her attention to building on the recruiting class that has been started in advance of her hiring.

"The school that she comes from is the best team in the country for women's lacrosse," Link said Sunday from San Francisco where she is playing with Cherry Creek this week during spring break. "I'm pumped to meet her. I'm excited that we have a coach. It's really cool that we got her."

The CU women's lacrosse team won't play its first game until February 2014. The program will compete in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation because the Pac-12 Conference does not yet sponsor women's lacrosse.

However, four other Pac-12 schools -- California, Oregon, Stanford and USC -- as well as the University of Denver compete in the MPSF, which is also home to the CU ski teams and indoor track teams.

While each of the first three recruits in the program's history is still a junior in high school, it's possible Elliott could add several recruits this spring who would enroll in classes in Boulder as soon as this summer and spend the next school year redshirting. She also could bring in transfers from other programs who would redshirt next year and give the young program at least some collegiate playing experience in its first season.