The Paula M. Evans Memorial Coach’s Award was created by an anonymous donor whose generous gift recognizes one Mass Elite coach while honoring the life of former Mass Elite founder and coach, Paula M. Evans. The Paula M. Evans Memorial Coach’s Award celebrates the life of Paula, a remarkable coach and a pioneer in the growth of women’s lacrosse in Massachusetts. Paula not only influenced the lives of many aspiring athletes, but coaches and the community alike. Paula began her coaching career as the founder, director, and coach of the Scituate Youth Lacrosse program. Paula then continued on as the Girls Varsity head coach at Scituate High School from 1999-2005. In addition to coaching at Scituate, Paula coached the Girls South team at the Bay State Games in 2000 and 2001. In 1999, Mass Elite was established because Paula recognized that “…To elevate one’s ability, one must play with and against the Elite of today and tomorrow…”
The Coach’s Award will be given annually to a Mass Elite coach for his or her dedication to Mass Elite, whose commitment and guidance has positively impacted the lives of our student-athletes, and who shares Paula’s passion for coaching. The recipient of the Coaches Award will be nominated by members of the graduating class and selected by Mass Elite Directors.
Carla Gigon was the Director of the 2013 class and the current assistant coach at Harvard University. Carla is a graduate of Hingham High School where she was the team captain, team MVP and Patriot Ledger All Scholastic in basketball and soccer.
The recipient of the 2013-2014 Paula M. Evans Memorial Coaches Award was Beth O’Brien.
Beth O’Brien is the Co-Director of the 2015 and 2018 classes. Beth has been a coach for Mass Elite for over a decade. In addition to her role with Mass Elite, she has also coached Lower New England National Tournament Teams and Under Armour All-American Underclassmen Teams. Beth has coached numerous high school All-Americans, Academic All-Americans, and All-Scholastics. She is the current varsity head coach of Needham High School.
Beth shares, “I’m honored to accept this award in the memory of Paula, a women who touched my life and the lives of so many in such an inspirational and positive way. Paula welcomed me into her life and the Mass Elite family when I was new coach looking to expand my knowledge of the game. Little did I know that my life would forever be changed. I quickly saw that not only would I be surrounded by some of the best coaches in the game, but more importantly by people who inspired me. The love, passion and energy that I have when coaching at Mass Elite or Needham comes from the values and chances that Paula gave to me. I know that every day I step on the field that I’m fortunate to work with wonderful and talented young student athletes and for that I’m truly thankful. This award is a reminder to me of the commitment and sacrifices that Paula made to make dreams come true and I promise to carry on that legacy. To my Mass Elite family this is for everything you do, the expertise you share with me, what you do for all our players and most of all what you represent.”
Meredith is a co-director of the 2014 and 2017 classes and the recruiting director. Meredith was 13 years old when Mass Elite was created. As Paula and her mother, Leslie, began traveling with Mass Elite, one “bad-news-bears” team, Meredith would tag along, admiring Paula and Leslie’s coaching styles and aspiring to be like the high school players. Meredith was a member of Mass Elite’s class of 2005, continued her career at Northwestern University, and has since become the varsity coach at Notre Dame Academy in Hingham, MA. In 2013, Meredith led the Cougars to their first MIAA D1 State Championship.Meredith shares, “it is truly a privilege to receive this award in honor of such a strong and courageous woman. The passion and excitement that I have for coaching (both with Mass Elite and at Notre Dame) are a result of the opportunities and guidance I received from Paula. At Mass Elite, I am blessed to be a part of such a committed and decorated coaching staff and work with such ambitious and hard-working young women. As a high school and collegiate student-athlete, I was presented with endless opportunities that enhanced my playing career. It is my purpose to influence and provide aspiring athletes with similar life-changing opportunities.”