We've All Heard About Student-Athletes, But Ever Heard of a...

It's nothing new for field hockey fans to see Kristen Fowler out on the turf, shouting encouragement to other players and full of energy.

But this year something is different.

Now the Kirkland senior stands off the field during the game. Now she's a coach.

Fowler is living an unusual double life, as both an undergraduate student and the head coach of the women's junior varsity field hockey team.

Fowler, who participated in the class of 1992 graduation ceremonies last May, still has one more semester of course work to complete at the College. But since this would have been Fowler's fifth season with the field hockey team, she is no longer eligible to play. Now she is showing the newer members of the team the ropes.


And Harvard coach Sue Caples is happy to have her.

"She is a tremendous asset to the program. She knows how we operate, our philosophy, and she is reinforcing this same system with the younger players," Caples says.

Fowler certainly has a wealth of experience to pass on.

She is a four-time varsity letter winner at Harvard and member of the 1987 United States Junior Olympic Team. During her last season with the Crimson, Fowler was co-captain of the squad, unanimous first team All Ivy, North-South Senior All-Star and the Harvard's leading scorer.

Fowler says that the she was worried about the new position at first, but the tension soon wore off.

"I helped the coaches during preseason and they were really helpful," she says. "They asked me questions and made me feel comfortable, like I had a placed on the team."

The transition from player to coach has been a learning experience for Fowler. She says coaching is a larger time commitment than playing.

An Adjustment

Fowler has also had to adjust to being part of the junior varsity team, which she never played on, and not a member of the varsity squad.

"It's hard when the varsity loses, because although I'm removed from the team, I feel for my [former] teammates. But I have the [J.V.] team I'm coaching to concentrate on now," Fowler says.