Surprise, surprise: Bishop Brady honors Kelly Owen for 30 years of coaching field hockey


Monitor staff

Published: 10-05-2023 8:06 PM

It took until Kelly Owen saw her brother, Mike, before she realized something was going on.

Mike lives in Roswell, Ga., just north of Atlanta. What was he doing at a Bishop Brady field hockey game in late September?

As it turned out, he was there to celebrate his sister, who for the last 30 years has led the Giants’ field hockey program.

The Brady players also wore T-shirts with Owen’s name signifying the 30-year milestone before their homecoming game against Newfound, but it took a bit before it all clicked for their coach. Soon enough, she was tasked with pulling down tarps that revealed something she never imagined: two signs naming the field after her.

“I was shocked,” Owen said. “It sent me into a lot of different emotions. There was nothing on my radar of anything of that nature. … I had no idea what was going on. It was a surprise.”

From now on, the Giants’ field hockey games will be played at Kelly Monahan Owen Field. One of her favorite refrains, “We defend as 11 and attack as 10,” appears on the two signs as well.

Owen’s field hockey coaching career began as an assistant for Pembroke Academy’s varsity team in 1991. Two years later, she started at Brady, where she’s also worked as a visual arts teacher since 1994.

“Sometimes it just feels like it was yesterday that I started,” Owen said. “It’s meant a lot. It’s the consistency and kids believing that I’ve been some form of stability to the school in terms of the sport. It’s an experience.”

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The naming carried extra significance for Owen because the school’s basketball court is already named after her late father, Frank Monahan, who coached the boys’ basketball team starting in the 1960s.

“To have my name and his name part of Bishop Brady High School history is – it’s pretty special,” Owen said.

Bishop Brady field hockey has reached the championship game each of the last four seasons, including back-to-back championships in 2019 and 2020. At 7-3-0 so far this year, the Giants will look to make it five straight appearances when the playoffs begin in a little over a week.

But on Saturday, it was time for Owen – who always deflects the attention to her players – to receive the recognition.

“Beyond appreciative for everybody that was a part of it,” she added. “There were former players, my colleagues, (athletic director) Annie (Mattarazzo) and all the people that had some part of this. It was quite an honor.”