Northeastern’s all-time leading scorer is coming home, announced women’s head coach Dave Flint on Friday afternoon. Hilary Witt – who tallied 208 points as a Husky from 1996-2000 and led Yale to 96 wins in eight seasons behind the bench – signed on as an assistant coach at her alma mater.
Witt returns to Northeastern after nine seasons at Yale, including the last eight as the Bulldogs head coach. The programâ€™s all-time most victorious coach, she compiled a 96-126-24 record in New Haven and led Yale to the ECAC playoffs for six straight seasons between 2003-08, including a semifinal appearance in 2005. She was named the ECAC Coach of the Year in her first season as head coach in 2002-03 after guiding the Bulldogs to their best ECAC finish ever (5-11-0). In the next two seasons, Wittâ€™s Bulldogs set program records for overall and conference wins, including a banner 2004-05 season that included a 12-7-1 ECAC record and 16-15-1 overall mark.
â€œItâ€™s an honor and a privilege to come home to Northeastern,â€ Witt said. â€œI am excited to assist in helping Northeastern compete for championships. I am grateful to Dave [Flint] and Northeastern University for giving me this opportunity.â€
Witt, a native of Canton, Mass., was one of the most talented women ever to put on the Huskies uniform. Her 113 goals is 26 more than the next closest Husky, her 95 assists ranks her third in the NU archives and her 208 overall points are 27 better than any other player. She joined NU in 1996-97 and contributed immediately with a team-high 24 goals to go with 20 assists for a total of 44 points. She helped lead the Huskies to the ECAC Championship by scoring two goals, including the game-winner, in the title game victory over New Hampshire, earning her tournament MVP honors.
Witt went on to earn two All-ECAC selections and was a three-time candidate for the Patty Kazmaier Award. Witt was inducted into the Northeastern Hall of Fame in 2005 and the Womenâ€™s Beanpot Hall of Fame in 2010. She graduated from Northeastern in 2001 with a degree in Communications.
Witt has also had a tremendous influence on the international level. Witt, who played for the U.S. Womenâ€™s National Team in 2001, earned a pair of silver medals as an assistant coach for the U.S. at the 2006 Four Nations Cup and the 2007 IIHF World Championship. She was recently named an assistant coach for USA Hockeyâ€™s Under-22 Select Team, joining NUâ€™s Linda Lundrigan.
â€œWe are very fortunate Hilary has decided to return to her alma mater,â€ Flint said. â€œWith her coaching and playing credentials, she will be a great addition to our staff.â€
Witt completes Flintâ€™s coaching staff for the 2010-11 season. The Huskies will return 16 letterwinners from last seasonâ€™s team, including goaltender and 2010 Hockey East Co-Player of the Year Florence Schelling and leading scorer Kristi Kehoe. Northeastern went 17-9-7 last season, its best mark since 2001-02, and was nationally ranked for most of the year.