Boucher earns national recognition for golf program


Contributed Photo

The 2005 girls’ winning golf team, with Coach Kathy Boucher, left, second row. (Casey Hanrahan, bottom left, is now an English teacher here)

Katie Walsh, Editor-in-Chief

Over the past 20 years, Kathy Boucher built the girls’ golf program from a club to a contending championship team just about every season.

This year she was awarded for her efforts and success through the National Athletic Coaches Association. Boucher is among eight girls’ golf coaches in the country who will travel to Sioux Falls, S.D., later this year, where the National Athletic Coach of the Year winner for girls’ golf will be named.

Boucher has carried this team to the competitive level it is now. It started as a club program then became a JV team in 1998. Its first season at a varsity level wasn’t until 2003.  Just two years later, the team went on to become the 2005 FCIAC champions.

Boucher has an all time record of 125 wins, 96 losses and 4 ties. In addition, the team also won the 2004 state championship and was runner-ups in 2016.

Chip Salvestrini, athletics director, commends the competitive nature of the program. “ [It’s a] program that is very well known in the FCIACs and States. It’s considered one of the best golf programs around.”

Last season, however, was a rebuilding year. Off the heels of the off year, Boucher said she was “pleasantly surprised” when she found out that she had been nominated for this honor.

Boucher has already won an array of awards: in 2016, FCIAC Coach of Excellence; in 2009, Connecticut Golf Coach of the Year, and in 2005, FCIAC Coach of the Year.

This nomination, however, means a little more because it’s national recognition. “Anytime you get an award like this it’s humbling, Its not just for me, but about the whole community,” Boucher said.

Salvestrini echos her words. “It’s a big award, a huge award. For us as an athletics department, we have a coach who not only excels at the FCIAC level but one who excels at a national level and that’s a huge achievement for us.”

Boucher’s success derives from her passion and involvement in the sport. Boucher demands commitment from her athletes and 100 percent effort at all times.

Captain Payton Dorsch, senior, expresses Boucher’s commitment to her athletes. “She’s very involved in the school and out of the school. It’s not the (golf) season right now and she’s still trying to meet up with me and go golfing. We meet up in the summer; she’s very caring.”

Boucher is willing to put in extra time for a player on her team. She takes everyone who has the will and desire to learn and play. “We never cut anyone, anyone who comes out,” Boucher said. “We try and help them out. Whether we give them clubs, encourage others to give them rides or encourage lessons from Richter Park.“

During team practices, Boucher will play alongside the girls to help them improve and to bring out their competitiveness. Dorsch explains their practice dynamics:  “At practice, she always plays with us and plays against us and tries to beat us. We have competitions and stuff that helps us stay motivated.”

Boucher’s passion and determination to succeed has led her and her athletes to numerous success’ in their careers and lives. She has coached many to play in college and influences them to have a love for this sport to continue their playing after high school.

Boucher also acknowledges the advantages of playing golf. “There’s so much integrity about golf that leads to life skills: concentration, responsibility, integrity, timeliness, organization … and to have fun.”

Salvestrini praises her for her dedication to the student-players and her golf program that she built.

“She has so much passion and desire to give the kids’ the best possible golf experience,” the AD said. “She gets better as she gets more experience. She handles her own program, and it’s great to have her with us.”