When Hilary Bowen got her first lacrosse stick in fourth grade she knew she was going to love the game for a long time. She played all the time in her front yard, but it wasn’t until seventh grade that she truly started playing lacrosse competitively.
From then on Bowen excelled at the sport. She played college lacrosse at Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois winning countless awards, her most recent being her induction into the 2016 Northwestern Athletics Hall of Fame. Northwestern inducts anywhere from two to six people every year, and Bowen’s incredible talent both on and off the field made her one of them. “It was great; it was really exciting... I had to give a speech-that was nerve-racking. But it was really fun to talk about why my experience at Northwestern was so valuable both academically and on the field,” Hilary said.
After her success as a college lacrosse player, Bowen was a coach at USC for three years. Bowen worked for a team she loved, but the fit just wasn’t quite right. “The time that I got the most burned out was in coaching.” Hilary said. “I actually moved up to Seattle thinking I wanted to completely get away from lacrosse because it was a lot of travel, it was high intensity, and the recruiting process is crazy and I thought I wanted a break.” While others may have called her crazy for leaving her college coaching job, she knew she was making the right decision.
Bowen’s desire for a change of pace lead her right to the doorstep of SAAS. After some contemplation and a move that involved acquiring roommates from Craigslist, Bowen realized that she really wanted to work in education. “I was passionate about working with kids and helping them be the best version of themselves and figure out who they are and navigate this world of school,” said Bowen. She was pointed in the direction of Rob Phillips and later hired as a coordinator for the middle school.
Not wanting to leave lacrosse entirely in the dust, Bowen then became the main instigator for starting the girls’ lacrosse program at SAAS. Bowen spent a lot of her time last year figuring out the interest levels for the program in both middle school and high school. The program will soon be making a formal announcement for its arrival in the spring and all skill levels are welcome and encouraged to try out.