It feels like Kathryn Andreoli has come full circle.
After spending much of her childhood visiting Harwich during the summer months, Andreoli, a Shrewsbury native, decided to stick around the Lower Cape as an instructional assistant and girls varsity field hockey coach at Monomoy Regional High School.
“I’m really excited,” Andreoli said. “I love sports and love working with kids. This is just a brand-new opportunity for me to kind of dip into all of the things I love to do.”
Sports — and coaching, for that matter — are in Andreoli’s blood. Take a stroll around MIT’s Cambridge campus and you’ll encounter Fran O’Brien Field, the baseball complex and namesake of Andreoli’s grandfather, who not only led the Engineers to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in school history during his 28 years at the helm, but also captured the Cape League’s Manager of the Year honors in 1990 after coaching the Harwich Mariners alongside his son Kevin, Andreoli’s uncle.
Then there’s her father, John Andreoli Sr., a New England Patriots alum approaching his 20-year anniversary as head football coach at St. Johns High School in Shrewsbury.
Having grown up in a family of coaches and athletes — her brother John Jr. and three cousins, Daniel, Jared and Luke, all played in the Cape League; John, Daniel and Luke are each playing professional baseball currently — Andreoli, a three-sport athlete in her own right, said she feels her upbringing has prepared her for the challenge of taking over Monomoy’s field hockey program.
“Just playing sports my whole life and growing up with coaches, I was just so fortunate to always have that feedback from my dad and to grow up in a family of athletes,” said Andreoli, who replaces Jennifer Estes as head coach. “The way you approach life is almost the same way you approach sports — my dad has always said to wake up and do the best that you can today and that’s all you can really do. I’ve really taken that approach to my life, and all of the valuable lessons that I have learned during my athletic career have helped me in my professional career as well.”
Andreoli returned to the Bay State during the COVID-19 pandemic from Charlotte, N.C., where she had helped coach the junior varsity field hockey program at South Mecklenberg High School. It was a return to the sport for Andreoli, who played field hockey, basketball and rowed crew during her high school career at Worcester Academy.
Although Andreoli said field hockey always felt like her number one sport, she ultimately ended up rowing crew at Clemson University after falling in love with the school. “It’s just kind of funny how a sport can choose you,” she said.
Following a year of rowing, Andreoli began working in Clemson’s athletic department, helping the sports information department share the stories of the school’s prominent sports programs. That experience sparked a passion in Andreoli, who chose to work as a television news reporter and anchor before making the shift to teaching and coaching.
“I was a reporter and anchor and started off doing sports and then ended up working in news,” said the 28-year-old Andreoli. “I worked as a TV anchor and reporter at several stations up and down the East Coast. I lived in Greenville, S.C. and then up here in Worcester, Mass. and also down in Charlotte.
“I ended up coming back when COVID hit, just to try to figure out my plan and what I wanted to do. I was looking for a career change and really wanted to work with kids, and then this opportunity came up this summer and I really missed coaching.”
Andreoli said she has enjoyed working alongside Monomoy’s athletic director Karen Guillemette and principal Jennifer Police since taking the job, noting that in addition to her role as a coach, she hopes to have the chance to aid MRHS students interested in the school’s state-of-the-art TV and Digital Media department, too.
The new coach said she also intends to build up Monomoy’s middle school field hockey program in an effort to strengthen the pipeline to the high school.
Guillemette said the Monomoy athletic community is excited to add Andreoli to its team.
“We are thrilled to have coach Andreoli join our coaching staff,” she said. “She brings a lot of energy and excitement to our program.”
The players met their new coach with energy and excitement at the team’s first pre-season practice on Monday. According to Andreoli, this year’s team is a group of talented and workers.
“Right off the bat, I was really impressed with the leadership, especially from the seniors,” the coach said. “We have a lot of really good athletes on this team and a there’s lot of really good potential from the younger girls. I was really impressed with their skill work, their ball work, their communication and their speed. I’m really going to focus on building those areas up and helping them learn some of the other aspects of field hockey and making sure communication is the number one thing.”
As far as expectations go, the rookie Monomoy coach hopes she and the Sharks will be able to get off to a quick start this fall, beginning with their season opener against visiting Nantucket at 4 p.m. Sept. 9, and then improve as the season progresses.
“My hope is to get them started out strong when we start the season, but I also just want to bring them to their full potential and really focus on continuing to build the program so that we have a really strong, solid program that we can continue to work with at Monomoy,” Andreoli said.
Email Brad Joyal at email@example.com.