After leading the field hockey team to an 17-0 regular season record and securing the Nepsac championship in November, Andover Field Hockey (PAFH) Head Coach Kate Dolan was lauded “Massachusetts Coach of the Year” by Max Field Hockey on February 6.
According to Dolan, one of her player’s parents sent her an email the morning that the article was published to alert her of the recognition.
According to Assistant Coach Martha Fenton ’83, with whom Dolan has coached at Andover since 1990, and Athletic Director Leon Modeste, Dolan coaches consistently throughout seasons while also being open to change.
“Ms. Dolan has been coaching the same core values every year—teamwork, discipline, gratitude, accountability, and respect for each other and the game. She is passionate about what she does and puts great emphasis on the team dynamic, allowing for each new team to discover who they are and what they want to leave as their legacy. PAFH has traditions dating back several decades and each team adds to that history,” wrote Fenton in an email to The Phillipian.
“Kate adjusts to each group she has. She stresses speed – that’s a big deal. She likes kids that get out there and get after it and they’re athletic and fast, and kids that have a lot of confidence. That’s what she does. She instills confidence in her players so that when they’re on the field, they’re able to perform at a high level and not have self doubt.… These kids don’t worry about making mistakes. They just go out there and work with speed and confidence,” said Athletic Director Leon Modeste.
According to Fenton, Dolan demonstrates equal respect for each player on the team and the team’s success derives from Dolan’s emphasis on unity.
Fenton wrote, “Ms. Dolan deserves this honor because she always put the team first and because she sets an amazing example of how dedication, hard work, and perseverance pay off. Every girl on the team knows that Kate values them equally and that makes them want be their best and do their best every day. The success of her teams is a combination of the talent and hard work of the girls on the team and the culture of togetherness that she teaches every day.”
“I think it’s good that she is recognized throughout the region and the nation for her great coaching and teaching ability. She has been a winner, she is loved by her athletes, and it’s good to get some recognition for her. Our field hockey program is one of the strongest programs around and I think this will just generate even more kids. Kids will read that and they’ll say, ‘hey, I want to play for this woman.’ So it will generate even more championship trophies. That’s what happens,” said Modeste.
In an email to The Phillipian, Dolan explained that she believes this season was so special because of the players’ character.
“I would say every season, every team is different and you love what is unique about each. What made this team unique and special was its balance in every category, its depth, and its personality… They didn’t try to be the team before them or any other team – they were just themselves, which was an extraordinary balance and blend of energy, enthusiasm, leadership, skill, determination, poise and fusn. Winning was a byproduct of wwtheir teamwork, unselfishness and love – not the other way around,” wrote Dolan.