Kittleman worked with both Penn's offense and defense while helping the Quakers advance to the NCAA Women's Lacrosse Championship final in 2008 and the semifinal round in both 2007 and 2009. In addition, Penn won four consecutive Ivy League titles during her tenure, going 28-0 in conference play in that time, and also took the inaugural Ivy League Tournament title this past spring. The 2010 team went 15-4 overall and advanced to the NCAA second round before losing to eventual national champion Maryland. The Quakers' losses came to the Terps (twice), NCAA runner-up Northwestern, and NCAA semifinalist North Carolina (the Tar Heels were beaten by Northwestern in the semis).
"I am thrilled to have been offered this position at Columbia," said Kittleman. "I have tremendous respect for the Ivy League and am honored to serve as one of its head lacrosse coaches. The women's lacrosse team at Columbia is primed to take its next step towards success, and I am excited for all of the opportunities that await this program at this extraordinary University!"
"That said, my experience at Penn has been indescribable," she continued. "Walking into the program four years ago, I would never have imagined that I would be part of something so successful -- but even more importantly, so special. The thrill of winning four consecutive Ivy League titles and competing in three Final Fours, including a National Championship game, is beyond measure. Those experiences have certainly prepared me for what I am moving onto at Columbia. However, it is the people: the coaches I have worked with in Karin, Melissa, Gloria, and Julie; the players -- all four classes I had the pleasure of coaching; the Penn parents; and all of the Athletic Department staff members who supported this team. That meant the most to me, and those are the people who have prepared me for this next venture."
Prior to coaching at Penn, Kittleman served as an assistant women's lacrosse coach at Haverford College in 2005 and 2006, and managed the United States Women's Elite Lacrosse Team from January 2006 to October 2007. Kittleman also served as an assistant women's lacrosse coach at Stanford University from 2001-2004, helping the Cardinal to their first top-20 ranking in school history.
"Liz is a wonderful leader and teacher, with all of the qualities and competencies we looked for in Columbia's next head coach of lacrosse," said Columbia's Director of Athletics, M. Dianne Murphy, in announcing the hire. "She is a talented and energetic leader, with a wonderful knowledge of the game. We are thrilled to have her lead our program to the next level."
A four-year letterwinner (1994-98) in lacrosse at Union College in New York, Kittleman earned first-team UCAA honors as a senior. She also competed on the women's soccer team for four years, captaining the team in 1997 and 1998, and was a member of the women's ice hockey team in 1995. While at Union, Kittleman earned her bachelor's degree in art history.