There's no telling how good the Colorado women's lacrosse team will be when it begins play in the spring of 2014.
At least the Buffs' coaches will go in knowing how to win.
On Thursday, CU head coach Ann Elliott announced that Hannah Nielsen will be the first assistant coach in program history.
"I could not be more excited to have Hannah join our coaching staff at CU," Elliott said in a press release. "She will be a great asset to me and our players as we look to build the program from the ground up."
Elliott was a part of six national championships -- three as a player and three as an assistant coach -- at Northwestern. Nielsen played for four championship teams at Northwestern, two of those as Elliott's teammate. Elliott was an assistant at Northwestern during Nielsen's senior year.
Having learned to win at the top program in the country, Elliott and Nielsen figure to have a solid foundation as they build the CU program.
"I think it helps Ann to know that I have the same way of thinking as her, coming from Northwestern," said Nielsen, who has been an assistant at Penn State and Towson University in the past three years. "You know what it takes to be a champion.
"But, I think it's also going to be good that I've been to other places and I've seen what works there as well."
Nielsen is considered one of the greatest players in women's lacrosse history.
During her career at Northwestern, she was a three-time All-American and was twice named as the national player of the year. Nielsen's 224 career assists are, by far, the most in NCAA history. She also has the top two single-season assist totals in NCAA history.
Nielsen, who grew up in Adelaide, Australia, was also a member of the Australian national team when it won the 2005 world championship and a silver medal at the 2009 World Cup.
As a player and coach, Nielsen has a combined record of 122-21 at the collegiate level. Now, she's looking forward to helping Elliott teach the Buffs how to win.
"As soon as I got there, I fell in love with the city," she said. "The vision that the athletic department has for the lacrosse program and the vision that Annie has for the lacrosse program was something I got really excited about.
"I'm really looking forward to being able to start a program from the ground up with Ann. I think it's going to be a really cool opportunity, and to do it in a very fun place and a very active place is definitely my style."
Golf, tennis honored
CU's womens golf and tennis programs were both on the NCAA's list of teams for the Academic Progress Rate (APR) Public Recognition Awards. This is the second year in a row that the tennis program has been honored.