One of the most decorated athletes to play the game of lacrosse, Hannah Nielsen was announced as the second head coach in University of Michigan women's lacrosse history on June 26, 2017.
A four-time national champion and two-time Tewaaraton Award winner, Nielsen boasts eight years of coaching experience at the Division I level.
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 four World Cups, most recently leading Australia to the 2017 FIL Rathbones Women’s Lacrosse World Cup semifinals. After recording seven goals and nine assists in the tournament, she was one of 12 players named to the All-World Team. At previous World Cup events, she helped lead Australia to a gold medal in 2005, and was named an All-Star in 2009 and 2013.
As a coach, Nielsen most recently spent the 2017 season as an assistant at her alma mater, Northwestern University. She helped lead the Wildcats to a spot in the Big Ten Tournament championship game and advance 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. A winner at heart, 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 was also 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 to the Northwestern Athletic Hall of Fame in 2014.
Before joining the staff at Northwestern, Nielsen was an assistant coach at Colorado University 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.