Nancy Monroe

Monroe (nee Westermier) was a four-time AIAW national qualifier for the UI swim team during 1971-75, but this groundbreaking athlete nearly took a different path.

Born in Santa Barbara, Calif., Nancy competed in a variety of swim teams and meets in the area, and even set a national freestyle record at San Marcos High School. Believing that her swim career was over, she decided to attend Idaho with no intent of competing. However, UI had built a new swim complex for the men’s team in 1971 and was required to field a women’s swim team because of Title IX. Therefore, in the first year of the program, Nancy was one of four women to swim on the team and she even had to buy her own swimsuits. She qualified for and swam at the national meet that year in Cincinnati.

In the summer of 1974, Nancy married Brent Monroe and had planned to quit swimming as she was scheduled to student-teach as well. However, that fall, UI opened the door for athletic scholarships for women. She was told she could receive one of the four $175 scholarships if she participated in two sports. She jumped at the opportunity and became the first woman to receive an athletic scholarship at UI. She played volleyball helped the Vandals to a 21-4 record, which included a win over Washington State. She then competed on the swim team where she was chosen the Vandals’ Most Inspirational Swimmer (she won the award all four years she competed). She held the freestyle and butterfly school records for a number of years.

Nancy wound up playing volleyball at UI for two seasons.

After graduating, Nancy taught in high school and middle schools in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington for 38 years and coached volleyball and swimming. Nancy also taught classes as a graduate assistant at UI while she earned her Master’s degree.

Nancy was the first varsity and junior varsity volleyball coach at Kendrick High in 1977 and compiled a 110-14 record with six trips to the state tournament. She also coached track along with her husband and produced numerous state champions and team trophies.

After moving to Chelan, she coached the Chelan High volleyball team to its first two state tournament appearances in program history.  She also coached at the middle school.

Nancy is a member of the University of Idaho Hall of Fame.

Nancy and Brent have two adult children, Ryan Monroe and Erin Bryan.