GHS field hockey head coach Maureen Perkins (right) was inducted into the Connecticut Field Hockey Hall of Fame on Sept. 11. Perkins is pictured with presenter and longtime friend Kris Cofeill, who is the GHS girls’ lacrosse coach.
Glastonbury High School field hockey coach Maureen Perkins was inducted into the Connecticut Field Hockey Hall of Fame on Sept. 11.
Perkins, who has been the varsity field hockey head coach at GHS since 1999, was honored in front of friends and colleagues at a ceremony at The Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville.
“It is still overwhelming,” Perkins said of the honor. “I still haven’t quite wrapped my head around it.”
Perkins was the only coach recognized this year, joining six others inductees. Players Abby Bascetta (Granby High School), Kate Conover Caulfield (Boston University), Jaime Orrico (Pomperaug High School), Ashley Smith (UMASS - Lowell), along with umpire Kelly Lynn Braza and honorary inductee Lori Riley rounded out the Class of 2022.
During her tenure at GHS, Perkins has crafted an impeccable resume that includes two state titles (2010, 2014) and 11 conference championships. Coming into the 2022 season, Perkins has amassed 291 wins and could eclipse the 300-win plateau this fall.
Perkins was named the Connecticut Field Hockey Coach of the Year in 2008 by the Connecticut High School Coaches Association and is the three-time recipient of the Class L Coach of the Year, presented by the Connecticut Field Hockey Coaches Association.
Throughout her over two decades on the sidelines, she has mentored several all-conference and all-state players, many of whom have gone on to play in college.
2020-graduate Caitlin Gallagher, who is currently a sophomore at Bryant University and is a captain of the Bulldogs field hockey team, said there is no one more deserving for the hall of fame than her high school coach.
“Coach Perkins has influenced not only my field hockey career, but my life the four years I got the opportunity to be coached by her,” stated Gallagher. “Every day she pushed me to be the best version of myself and taught me skills I have been able to utilize in my first two years of college. I truly believe she prepared me for collegiate field hockey more than anyone.”
Perkin’s path to the hall of fame started as a freshman at Stonington High School where she and a group of friends collectively decided to give field hockey a try.
“We were looking for something to do. I basically did it because my friends did it,” recalled Perkins.
The decision changed the trajectory of her life as she said immediately got hooked on the sport, helping Stonington win a state championship in 1987 and becoming both an all-conference and all-state player in 1988.
She credited Stonington’s head coach Janis Ingham for teaching her the skills needed and instilling in her a passion for the game.
“Coach Ingham was so incredibly supportive,” recalled Perkins “You wanted to be around her because she loved coaching us and coaching the sport.”
Her high school success catapulted her to a college career at the University of Connecticut where she would go on to be a two-time Big East All-Academic Selections (1991, 1992) and helped lead the Huskies to a Big East title in 1992. She would later graduate with a Bachelor of Science in history in 1993 and earn a Masters in Education a year later.
Upon graduation, she became a history teacher at GHS and began her coaching career as an assistant field hockey coach at Connecticut College. A few years later, she took over the GHS varsity program and the rest is half-of-fame-history.
Friend and longtime colleague Kris Cofeill presented Perkins at the induction ceremony. Cofeill took over the lacrosse program at GHS the same year Perkins took over the field hockey program and the two have served as each other’s assistant coaches throughout the years.
Cofeill described Perkins as “humble”, “hardworking” and “thoughtful.”
“She makes both her players and her fellow coaches integral to the success. It’s not about what she does, it is what we do collectively as a group,” added Cofeill. “She is a great role model for these girls. She teaches them to honor the game and they learn to play hard and have fun, and to win with grace and lose with grace.”
Perkins said that the relationship with her fellow coaches and the supportive environment at GHS have contributed to her longevity.
“When you coach with people for an extended period of time it just makes it enjoyable and something you want to keep doing,” said Perkins. “The administration and all the athletics [at GHS] are incredible supportive.”
Perkins added that the pair of state champions are certainly near the top of the achievement list, yet when she reflected on her career it was the Lucy Goodridge Sportsmanship Award the team received in 2010 that she is the most proud of.
Goodridge was a longtime field hockey official that passed away and Perkins’ squad was the first team to ever be honored with the award.
“I want to win; I love to win — I’m super competitive, but the other things are really important for kids to see and understand,” stated Perkins. “At some point you stop playing. There are things that you can take from the game that will stay with you long after you’re done playing. That award reflected that.”
Perkins added that she still looks forward to taking on the the challenges that each season brings and has enjoyed seeing the sport of field hockey grow over the years.
Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin