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.
US Lacrosse has teamed with several of lacrosse’s leading equipment and apparel companies on sponsorship agreements that will enhance the experience of coaches and officials attending the sport’s largest educational and networking event, the organization announced today.

“While our members and donors provide many of the resources we use to develop the sport nationwide, without question we could not make the US Lacrosse National Convention, presented by Champion, the impressive event that it is without the generous support of many of the top brands in the lacrosse world,” said Rob Scherr, sponsorship manager of US Lacrosse and a former goalie at Johns Hopkins University and in Major League Lacrosse. “We appreciate their contributions to our annual professional development event for lacrosse coaches, officials and administrators.”

The US Lacrosse National Convention, presented by Champion, is set for Jan. 13-15, 2012, in Philadelphia. The event annually draws some 5,000 participants for approximately 150 educational sessions and innumerable networking opportunities, all alongside the largest exposition hall of goods, apparel and services in the lacrosse world. Lacrosse coaches, officials and administrators can register for the convention online at www.uslacrosse.org/2012convention before Dec. 28 for $105, a savings of $45 on the walk-up price.

Champion Athleticwear, the official performance apparel of US Lacrosse and the official apparel provider of the U.S. women’s national teams, is in the midst of a five-year presenting sponsorship of the US Lacrosse National Convention. Champion will offer a custom design center at the convention, where coaches and team representatives can consult one-on-one with Champion staff to create custom team uniforms.

STX Lacrosse is the sponsor of the STX Live Field, the largest of three live demonstration areas at the convention that will allow speakers to use players, turf field space, goals and other lacrosse equipment to present their topics to attendees. STX also will host men’s and women’s stick stringing sessions Jan. 14 as part of the US Lacrosse Fan Fest inside the Pennsylvania Convention Center. STX is a sponsor of the US Lacrosse First Stick Program.

Maverik Lacrosse is the sponsor of the Maverik Demo Field, a live demonstration area offering similar enhancements for presenters to reach attendees.

Bownet is the sponsor of the Bownet Goalie Room, a live demonstration area designed for goalie-related clinics.

Lacrosse Unlimited is the sponsor for the Men’s and Women’s Coaches Socials beginning at 8:30 p.m. Jan. 13 at the Field House bar and restaurant, adjacent to the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The socials will offer specials on food and beverages for coaches who present their US Lacrosse National Convention credentials.

Easton Lacrosse is a sponsor of the US Lacrosse Fan Fest, a portion of the convention open to the general public 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 14. Easton will use the GoPro helmet camera during various presentations at the STX Live Field and also will assist with video coverage of the event on LaxMagazine.com, the website of Lacrosse Magazine.

Sports Her Way is the sponsor of the women’s lacrosse field pad for convention attendees. Harrow, Lacrosse Specialties, SportStop and Beach Lacrosse also will provide attendees with complimentary items upon arrival.

For more information on the convention or to register, visit uslacrosse.org/2012convention. Like the convention at facebook.com/uslnationalconvention. Follow the convention at twitter.com/uslaxconvention. Tweet using the hashtag #laxconvention.
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