The 2019-20 season will be Tamlyn Tills’ 12th at Lake Forest College and 25th as a collegiate head coach.
Under Tills’ direction, last year’s Foresters made their second straight appearance in the four-team Midwest Conference Tournament, finishing 13-13 overall and in third place in the standings with a league mark of 12-6.
Tills, the 2017-18 MWC Coach of the Year, is now 105-87 in conference play during her 11 seasons at the College and the Foresters have finished in the top half of the league eight times during that span. She has now led her teams a higher winning percentage than in the previous year 14 times in 24 seasons as a collegiate head coach.
Guard Kelsey Burton repeated as a First Team All-MWC selection in 2018-19 while Hannah Hiland earned Second Team honors. At least one Lake Forest player has been named all-conference in each of Tills’ 11 seasons. In addition, four Foresters were named Academic All-MWC, giving the program 63 such honors since Tills took over as head coach.
Lake Forest set program records with 144 three-pointers and 10 blocked shots in 2018-19 and has matched or broken 27 school records in Tills’ first 11 years. Among the other marks are a 116-point game, a player making eight three-pointers in a single contest, and the highest field goal percentage for a Forester in a game and career.
Before coming to Lake Forest, Tills was the head coach at Concordia University Chicago for six seasons. She led the 2007-08 Cougars to the semifinals of the conference tournament and came within one win of the program’s record for victories in a season. Her 2003-04 squad was the first in school history to host a first-round game in the Northern Illinois-Iowa Conference Tournament and the 2005-06 squad made the program’s first-ever appearance in the league’s championship game.
Prior to her time at Concordia Chicago, Tills was a head coach for three seasons (1999-2002) at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, and four (1992-96) at Concordia University in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Tills earned her 100th career victory overall while coaching at Concordia Chicago in December of 2005, reached the 200-win plateau against Lawrence University in February of 2013, and enters 2019-20 with 249 triumphs in her career. She became just the second Lake Forest coach to win 100 games at the College when the Foresters defeated Lawrence University 90-32 in the 2016-17 season finale.
Tills was also an NCAA Division I assistant coach at Marquette University from 1987-90 and at California State University-Fullerton from 1996-99. She also has experience at the professional level, having worked in the front office of the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks from 1990-92.
Her coaching career began at Divine Savior Holy Angels High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she was the athletic director and volleyball and basketball coach from 1985-87.
Tills was also a successful player, scoring more than 1,000 career points at both Milwaukee Lutheran High School and the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. She was an All-American and part of the 1980-81 Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women national championship team at La Crosse and is a member of the school’s Hall of Fame.
She resides in nearby Libertyville.