Called by many “The Babe Didrikson Zaharias of Lowell,” Rose O’Neil must certainly rank as the City’s greatest all-time female athlete. Despite never having had the opportunity to compete for the Red and Gray (due to the absence of girls sports at Lowell High School during her years on Kirk Street), Rose created an indelible place for herself in the annals of Lowell sports with her outstanding versatility as a competitor and coach.
Amazingly, Rose was a standout baseball player on the diamonds of Lowell, competing on an equal footing with the better male players of her era.
As a bowler, Rose won numerous local and New England championships.
After her successes in these other sports, Rose took up the game of golf, which proved to be her true forte. She won the Vesper Women’s Championship for eight consecutive years (1941–1948). Despite remaining an amateur, Rose competed successfully in national tournaments at both the amateur and professional level. She won the Massachusetts Senior Women’s Championship in 1963, one year before her untimely death.
After high school, Rose received degrees in physical education from Posse Nisson School and Boston University. She taught and coached basketball at Howe School in Billerica, winning several suburban league championships.
Later she returned to teach and coach at Lowell High School. Her coaching career reached its pinnacle in 1954 when she led the Lowell High School Boys Golf Team to the Massachusetts Championship.
Graduation/Class Year: 1928
LHS Sports Played: Baseball, Golf
LHS Sports Coached: Boy's Golf
LHS Teacher or Admin:
LHS Sport Captain:
College: Boston University
Professional/International/Olympic Sports: Competed in national golf tournaments professional level
Nickname: "The Babe Didrikson Zaharias of Lowell"
Coach-Other Organization: Teacher and Caoch at Howe School in Billerica
Other Halls of Fame: