You could say that Devanny Boisvert wears two hats at Bellarmine. Or you could say that she speaks softly and carries a big stick. Whatever cliché you choose, the fact is that Devanny (DEV-anny) is both the assistant field hockey coach at BU and the coordinator for planned giving and major gifts in the Office of Development and Alumni Relations. A 2008 graduate of Sacred Heart Academy, where as a senior she led the Valkyries to a 26-0 record, a state title and a No. 2 national ranking, she played collegiate field hockey at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., from 2008-12. After graduating with a degree in communication studies and a minor in hospitality management, she coached Sacred Heart’s JV field hockey team for two seasons before Bellarmine’s head coach, Mark Blankenbaker, who had unsuccessfully recruited her in high school, successfully recruited her to join his coaching staff on a part-time basis in January 2014. In 2016, she helped lead the Knights to their most victories (13) since 2011. In February 2017, wanting to become more involved with the Bellarmine community, Devanny accepted the additional position on the Development team. Devanny and her husband, Tommy Boisvert, live in the St. Matthews/Hikes Point area. She took a short timeout recently to answer some questions from Bellarmine Magazine.
You have an unusual first name. What’s the story behind it?
Devanny is my great-great-grandmother’s maiden name. Her name was Delia Devanny. Delia came over on a boat from Ireland to Ellis Island. My parents were debating if they would name me Delia or Devanny. Once they settled on Devanny, they wanted to verify the spelling. At the time, my great-grandmother was still living; however, she was elderly. She insisted that Devanny was the correct spelling. I hope she was right!
Are there any similarities between your coaching job and your development job?
In both, I get to work with students. I love being able to make a difference in my field hockey players’ lives, whether that is developing their field hockey skills, being someone who will listen to them during a tough time or even being a role model for some. It is so rewarding watching these young women grow and mature from their freshman to senior year. As I myself am growing into my position in the Development Office, I look forward to working more with the recipients of Bellarmine’s endowed scholarships. I love seeing how thankful the students are. It shows not only in their thank you notes to their donors, but also when they get to meet them for the first time in the spring. I have enjoyed hearing the scholars’ stories, saying hello to them on campus, and watching them walk across the stage during graduation. All the students I work with at Bellarmine know how to make you feel proud and that you made a difference in their lives.
Speaking of proud moments, you were the first player selected as Kentucky’s Miss Field Hockey following your senior season at Sacred Heart. Does that title carry any special rights or privileges?
It was an honor to be selected. My high school team worked hard throughout the season to go undefeated and win the state championship. I was blown away when they announced my name at the Senior All-Star Game as the recipient. Even during my senior year of high school I was unsure if I wanted to play collegiate field hockey, and if so, where and at what division. Receiving the award gave me the confidence that I could play at the collegiate level, and I aggressively dove into the recruiting process. It was also a privilege to have my No. 44 jersey hung in Sacred Heart’s gym after receiving this recognition.
Does athletic ability run in your family?
My brother played minor league baseball for seven years. He spent time with the Chicago White Sox, the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies.
You’ve been a Valkyrie, a Cardinal and now a Knight. Which is your favorite and why?
That is a hard one. All three mascots have symbolized different phases of my life and will always be important to me. During my high school experience, I encompassed all that a Valkyrie should be: faith-driven, involved and a leader. I learned about who I was and who I wanted to be. Once a Valkyrie, always a Valkyrie! My college career as a Cardinal symbolized being on my own, learning what I wanted to do with my life and being successful in the classroom and playing field. It was tough balancing a sport and my studies; however, Cardinals never quit. Chirp, Chirp! As a Knight, I have developed into a bold and honorable professional on the field hockey field and in the office. I consider myself a fighter, leading my team to a successful season and being well-prepared in the Development Office. Go Knights!
By Carla Carlton | email@example.com
Photo by Jessica Ebelhar