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Supervisor Played on First UConn Women’s Final Four Team

The UConn women’s basketball team is iconic, having won 11 national championships under Hall of Fame coach Geno Auriemma.

Kathy FerrierKathy Ferrier, a supervisor in transmission vegetation management, played for Auriemma on the first UConn women’s team to reach the Final Four in 1991.

Ferrier joined UConn after being named the state basketball player of the year in 1989 and winning state championships in basketball and volleyball at Bristol Eastern. There were no national championship banners hanging from the ceilings of the dusty Hugh Greer Field House in Storrs or Gampel Pavilion at that time, which opened during the middle of her freshman year.

The women won their first Big East championship in February of 1989 when she was a senior in high school.

By the time her collegiate career was complete, she and her teammates won another Big East title (1991) and made a surprising run to the Final Four in 1991.

Two of Ferrier’s teammates in her final two seasons were All-American guard Jennifer Rizzotti and Rebecca Lobo, who helped the Huskies win their first national championship in 1995 with a big win over Tennessee and legendary head coach Pat Summit.

 Ferrier feels pretty good about her place in UConn history.

“Whatever my small part of it was, it is in the history books. We didn’t win a national championship, but we were the foundation and the start of the success of the program. It wasn’t easy, but I made it through, and I learned a lot. I was proud to be part of coach Auriemma’s team.”

Kathy Ferrier at UConnShe went on to say that “Auriemma’s practices were not for the faint of heart. The Huskies would run plays and sets multiple times to get it right. His practices were legendary for how tough they were,” she said. “His reputation for being a perfectionist…it’s totally true.”

In her final semester, there was one day a week when practices started at 6 a.m., in part because she needed a specific class to graduate.

Kathy was a natural resources major at UConn but needed a forestry class to graduate. The challenge was those classes had three-hour labs in the afternoon—when the Huskies would be practicing.

Auriemma moved practice to the morning. To spare her teammates the early wakeup call, the 6-foot-3 center suggested she could miss a practice but Auriemma refused.

“You’re a captain. You need to be there,” she recalled him saying.

But that forestry class helped send Ferrier on the path to where she is today.

“I took that class and fell in love with trees, identifying trees and learning about the different species of trees,” she said.

She worked in Colorado for a year in forestry after graduation before joining ECI, an arborist company doing some work for Connecticut Light and Power (CL&P). A few years later, she joined CL&P as an arborist and has been with the company for 25 years.

Ferrier has been part of the Transmission Vegetation Management team as a supervisor since 2020. She is still working with trees, arborists, customers and town officials to help maintain reliability of our transmission system.

“I take a lot of joy in being outside, working around trees and in nature,” she said. “There is a lot of pride in ensuring the reliability of our system for our customers.”

She still has plenty of pride about the Huskies, too.

Donovan Clingan, the big 7-foot-2 center for the UConn men’s team and son of Bill Clingan, an Electric Field Operations Supervisor, also grew up in Bristol, just like Kathy. Clingan went to cross-town rival Bristol Central.

“I love watching basketball,” she said. “I love watching Donovan Clingan. I knew his mom Stacey and I know his dad. Being from Bristol, I take a lot of pride (in what he is doing).”