Benet Academy’s alum Kathleen Doyle did amazing things in high school and is continuing her success at the collegiate level. Check in on where she is in this Where Are They Now? feature, presented by Molly Maids of the Aurora Naperville Area.
In the fall of 2012, a diminutive but talented and hard nosed freshman point guard earned a spot in the starting five for head coach Peter Paul’s Benet Academy girls basketball team.
At that time, the expectations for Kathleen Doyle were to play tough defense and defer to more experienced scorers like Emily Schramek, Emily Eshoo and Christen Prasse. But even then assistant coach Joe Kilbride realized the young Redwing would be important to the program.
Heading into her junior season, Coach Kilbride moved into the head coaching position after Peter Paul’s retirement. Kathleen and her Benet teammates were poised to make the leap from being a tough out to one of the elite teams in the state.
With Doyle running the point and the Emily’s Eshoo and Schramek, the Redwings were nearly unstoppable. After a 34-3 season, BA won their 7 playoff games by an average of 17 points, including a 22 point win over Fremd to win the first state championship in program history.
It would be difficult to top a season as successful as that one, but Kathleen Doyle found a way. As a senior, Doyle averaged 17 points per game, led the team in assists and was 2nd in rebounds as the Redwings once again found themselves competing for a state title thanks to players like Kathleen doing whatever her team needed on a given night.
The state championship run almost came to an end in the Supersectional against Edwardsville, but Doyle’s go ahead layup in the final seconds brought the Redwings back to Redbird arena. In the state championship, it was again Doyle taking the reigns with several huge baskets down the stretch to give her team the lead and hold off Fremd for a 42-39 victory. Benet had gone back to back on the back of the 2016 Ms. Illinois Basketball, an honor few could have foreseen when Doyle first entered the program. After racking up first team all state accolades and throwing out the first pitch before a Cubs game, Doyle headed west to begin her collegiate playing career at the University of Iowa.
Despite a jump up in the level of competition, Doyle’s level of play remained high. She was an All-Big Ten Freshman team member after her first year. As a sophomore, the Hawkeyes advanced to the NCAA tournament, as Doyle was named All-Big Ten 2nd team by averaging over 11 points and 6 assists per game.
Despite missing the first 7 games of the year with a hand injury, both Doyle and her Iowa teammates raised the bar during her junior season. Kathleen led the Big Ten in assists and bumped her scoring average to 12 per game, earning a spot on the All Big Ten first team. Alongside All-American Megan Gustafson, the Hawkeyes went 29-7, winning the Big Ten Tournament and advanced all the way to the Elite 8.
Now a 1,000 career point scorer, Doyle has continued to grow her role as a senior. She currently leads the team in scoring with over 15 points per game to go along with 6.1 assists and 5 rebounds per game. The Hawkeye program knows by now that when Kathleen Doyle is in your huddle, the team always has a chance.
No matter what path the former Redwing chooses following her career at Iowa, Coach Kilbride success is sure to follow.
For Naperville Sports Weekly, I’m Justin Cornwell
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