• 1969-2008

Field Hockey

  • Head coach from 1969 to 2008
  • The team had 398 wins, 159 losses and 92 ties
  • 17 Cape Ann League Championships
  • 5 time CAL Coach of the year
  • 2 time Boston Globe Coach of the year
  • The CAL Coach of the Year Award is named the “Gail Kelleher CAL Coach of the Year Award”


  • 5 years head coach
  •  2 Cape Ann League Championships
  • Coached junior varsity and freshmen for 20 years
  • Volunteer coached 2008 – 2012

Track & Field

  • Volunteered the second year of program’s existence to keep it going


  • Coached at all levels for 18 years


October 15, 2015 the Field Hockey Field will be officially named

“The Coach Gail Kelleher Field”

Click Here To View Their Induction


When the words Amesbury High School and field hockey are mentioned in the same breath, the first name that comes to mind is Gail Kelleher. Gail first donned the halls of AHS in 1969 as a physical education teacher and coach. Who would have thought that a young teacher and coach from Salisbury, MA via Newburyport High School and Plymouth State College would dedicate a career lasting more than 4 decades to the students and female athletes of AHS? Gail loved her time at Amesbury High School and went on to became one of the most respected and successful coaches in school history.

You can imagine the memories and stories that Gail has compiled over the years. She has seen it all! There were thousands of students and coaches that Gail came into contact with over the years. To this day she cherishes all the acquaintances and friendships she made. Everyone Gail associated with, especially her players and coaches made a great impression on her life and enriched it more than she can imagine. In Gail’s own words, “No one could have asked for a better life.” But what Gail may not quite realize is the impact and impression she has had on so many over her 40 plus year career. 2013 AHS Athletic Hall of Fame inductee Pam Gleason Holt says it best, “When I hear the name “Gail Kelleher” the first word that comes to my mind is “respect”.  Not just your average respect but the old school type of respect that you rarely see anymore.  Anyone that had the opportunity to play for Coach K has become a better person because of it.  She was hands down one of the most impressionable people in my life and will forever be a part of who I am today.”

Although Gail is best known for coaching field hockey, she was also the varsity coach for girls’ basketball and softball during her tenure at AHS. As girls varsity basketball coach from 1969-1974, Gail led the team to 2 Cape Ann League Championships. When you include the junior varsity and freshmen basketball teams that she coached, her years as a hoop coach total 20. It wasn’t until 2012 that she officially gave up assisting the basketball team. For many years Gail volunteered her time taking stats for Coach Chris Perry, a fellow coach whom she admires greatly. The feeling is mutual as Coach Perry considers Gail a loyal friend and a mentor. Gail also put in her time on the softball diamond. For a total of 18 years she coached at all levels – varsity, JV and freshmen.

Gail found success with every sport she coached at every level. Where she left her greatest mark and incredible legacy however, is on the field hockey field. Her career spanned 39 years and she coached a total of 649 games, compiling a final record of 398 wins, 159 losses, and 92 ties. During those 39 seasons, Gail and her teams won an amazing 17 Cape Ann League Championships. Can somebody say dynasty? Gail was recognized by the CAL as Coach of the Year 5 times. She also received the Boston Globe Coach of the Year twice. In 2003, Gail was inducted into the inaugural class of the Amesbury Educational Foundation’s Hall of Honor. In 2009, the Cape Ann League field hockey coaches voted to name their annual Coach of the Year award the Gail Kelleher CAL Coach of the Year Award. What an honor to be bestowed on Gail by her fellow coaches, especially while still actively coaching! Gail is also a member of the Athletic Wall of Fame at her alma mater, Newburyport High School.

What was the key to Gail’s success on the field hockey field? What made her teams competitive year after year? Ask any athlete that played for her and they will tell you. She put her heart and soul into every practice and game and it was contagious! Cathy Mamakos, former player and assistant coach puts it simply, “Gail made you feel special to be a part of the field hockey team. You felt good about yourself and what you were doing, and took great pride in playing hard every day for Gail and your team.” Whether it was a note on your locker, a team gathering, or a Sunday practice to get ready for a big Monday game, Gail made playing field hockey for Amesbury High School fun and unforgettable.

Some of Gail’s fondest memories involve traveling all over the country to see former players play, especially 2013 AHS Athletic Hall of Fame inductee Kristy Gleason. From NCAA Final four championships in Springfield, MA, New Jersey, and Virginia, to games in Iowa City and St. Louis, following former players was one of Gail’s most favorite things to do. Other memories of Gail’s include playing in the snow during a state semi-final game, and beating arch nemesis Watertown in the North Sectional finals. With so many years on the field come some lows along with all of the highs. In Gail’s very last field hockey game as a coach, her team played Newburyport to a tie. A tie’s not so bad but in this case, the tie eliminated the team from state tournament play. Many hearts were broken and tears were cried that day, including Gail’s.

Gail feels so blessed to have been able to do something that she truly loved for so many years. She loved the kids and her fellow coaches. “I will look back on those many years with a warm heart and true gratefulness.” This afternoon the field hockey field at Amesbury High School, Gail’s Field of Dreams, was officially named the Coach Gail Kelleher Field. Congratulations to 2015 Athletic Hall of Fame inductee, Coach Gail Kelleher.

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