“Clear the pitch, ladies!” was Coach Alix Fellows' call to action for 42 years at St. Agnes and St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes. She grew up in Ireland, raised five boys, and started volunteer coaching field hockey at St. Agnes School in 1974 so she could spend time with girls. In the spring of 1975, Coach Kathy Jenkins was starting a lacrosse team and asked Coach Fellows if she knew how to play. Coach Fellows, who had played in high school and started her college team, coached the fundamental lacrosse skills while Coach Jenkins focused on the team strategy using basketball tactics.
Coach Fellows believes that greatness comes from good fundamental skills and hard work. She taught this by focusing on technique. She would take tennis balls and put them on players’ sticks to help their hand positions. She drilled technique until players could do it without thinking. Her call of “Go toward the ball!” reminded her players to push, to be their best, and to take control of the game. This idea extended off the field as well. Ashley Kincheloe Dyson ’89 said of Coach Fellows: “Every opportunity, every dream, every success I have experienced in my life has happened because of that strategy [go towards the ball]. Coach Fellows taught me the most important lesson in life: only you can make it happen, only you can pursue the path and the journey that is yours.”
Her warmth and smile radiated love for those around her. Kate Fauth ’06 twisted her ankle in a drill and recalls: “I hobbled off the field and was told to see the trainers in the school, a walk that usually takes a couple minutes. My hobbling quickly worsened to the point where I couldn't put any weight on my right leg, so Coach Fellows went from supporting some of my weight to practically carrying me. The walk felt like an eternity. I think about that walk often and how Coach Fellows supported me the whole way there, and when I found out my ankle was broken... I'm so grateful to have had her as a coach. I may be the only one who can say I was carried 200 yards by my 70-year-old coach, but I know I wasn't the only one to have been rescued by her support.”
Lower School Teacher Beth Barrows coached JV girls lacrosse with Alix for 10 years.“She had a tremendous impact on me as a coach and as a person,” said Barrow. From the tough love she gave every girl on the team to develop them not just as players but as people, to the wisdom she imparted to me on a daily basis as she listened patiently to my mid-twenties angst, Alix became my role model and dear friend. Middle School Teacher Katherine Miller and I always used to say that when we grew up, we wanted to be Alix Fellows. Of course, there's only one, and we are all blessed to know her.”