BALTIMORE, Nov. 7, 2011 - NCAA champion lacrosse coaches John Danowski (Duke men) and Kelly Amonte Hiller (Northwestern women), National Lacrosse Hall of Fame umpire Jen O'Donnell, four-time Super Bowl referee Jerry Markbreit and ESPN analyst Herm Edwards highlight the schedule of speakers at the 2012 US Lacrosse National Convention, as announced today by US Lacrosse.
Roughly 150 of the game's top coaches, officials, trainers and administrators will conduct educational sessions for their respective colleagues Jan. 13-15 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.
Early-bird registration for the convention continues at www.uslacrosse.org/2012convention
through Nov. 11 for the discounted price of $80. The convention, annually the largest educational and networking event in the lacrosse world, is open to lacrosse coaches, officials and administrators with an active membership in US Lacrosse, although non-members may join at the time of registration.
"We've targeted leaders in lacrosse who are passionate about developing the game by sharing their knowledge with coaches and officials at the youth and high school levels," said Beth Porreca, director of special events at US Lacrosse.
Danowski led the Blue Devils to the 2010 NCAA championship, and he has mentored 31 collegiate All-Americans during his career as a coach at Hofstra and Duke.
"Neither I nor my son Matt would have the wonderful experiences we have with lacrosse today were it not for our interactions with great coaches along the way," Danowski said. "I'm happy to speak at the US Lacrosse convention and share some tips with other coaches, who will help improve the lacrosse experience for their own players."
Amonte Hiller has built a dynasty at Northwestern, leading the program to six national championships in the last seven years. During her tenure, three Wildcat players have won the prestigious Tewaaraton Award.
"Lacrosse is one of the fastest-growing sports in the country, but it's important to have the quality of coaching keep pace with the increase in participation," Amonte Hiller said. "US Lacrosse has done a good job focusing on the development of coaches at all levels, and the annual convention is a great opportunity to work together toward that goal. I'm looking forward to participating."
Edwards, a nine-year defensive back with the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles and later the head coach of the New [lacrosse] Jets and Kansas City Chiefs, will kick off the convention with a keynote address at 7:00 p.m. Friday, Jan. 13. The convention will mark a homecoming for Edwards, who still holds the Eagles' record for interceptions with 38 (regular season and postseason) and started 135 consecutive games despite not being drafted out of San Diego State in 1977.
O'Donnell, a 2009 inductee into the National Hall of Fame, will join NCAA men's final four official and USILA observation program director Bob Curcio in a lineup for officials that includes popular NCAA, NFHS and US Lacrosse rules interpretation sessions and offerings from the US Lacrosse Officials Education Program. Markbreit, a former longtime executive at 3M who officiated in the NFL for 23 years, will address lacrosse officials at 5:00 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 14.
Online convention registration from Nov. 12 through Dec. 28 will cost $105. Registration onsite in Philadelphia Jan. 13-15 will cost $150. Groups of 10 or more can save an additional $10 per attendee by registering together.
The US Lacrosse National Convention annually draws some 5,000 participants, and it includes two live demonstration areas, approximately 150 educational sessions, and Fan Fest, a portion of events open to the public and centered around the sport's largest exposition hall. Fan Fest tickets will be sold onsite at the Grand Hall to the general public for $10 and to lacrosse players wearing team jerseys for just $5. Children 6 and under will be admitted free to Fan Fest, which runs 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 14.
For more information (including the convention schedule and speaker bios) or to register, please visit www.uslacrosse.org/2012convention.