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.

Bob McCray

Bob McCray knew from a young age that he wanted to teach and coach, and he has lived his dream for over forty years.

He graduated from Shadle Park High School in 1963, and went on to receive his undergraduate degrees in History and PE/Science from the College of Education at the University of Idaho, his Master of Science in Anatomy and Physiology of Exercise from the University of Hawaii, and his Masters in School Counseling and Applied from Eastern Washington University.

While at the U of I, he competed in Football and Wrestling. He was an honorable mention Offensive Guard in very program that produced several athletes who would go on to play in the NFL, including Ron Porter and John Fouria.

His coaching career began in 1967 at Orting High School in Washington, coaching Football, Wrestling, and Track. The football and track teams were State B Champions, and the Wrestling team was a 2nd place finisher.

The next year he took a two year graduate assistant position with Coach Dave Holmes at the University of Hawaii, as a linebackers and special teams coach.

Upon completing his Master’s Degree at Hawaii, he moved with his new wife, Tessa, to Pasco Washington where he was an assistant football coach, and head track coach at Columbia Basin College. The football team was Co-Champs in ’70 and ’71, and in 1972 he took over as Head Football coach. The team was 10-1 the next season, and sixteen of his players went on to play D1 football from that team. Seven of his track athletes went on to compete at major schools.

His success at Columbia Basin drew the attention of the University of New Mexico where he coached the O line and special teams from ’73-’77. During his time there the Lobos went 19-25-1, and he and Tessa had their daughter Amy.

He caught the eye of University of Oregon’s new head coach, Rich Brooks, who brought him in to coach the offensive line, and during his tenure there coached several future NFL players including eventual Hall of Famer, Gary Zimmerman the outstanding guard for the Minnesota Vikings and Denver Broncos. Daughter Kelly was born in Eugene.

With a desire to return to Spokane and raise a family, McCray took a position as the Offensive Coordinator at Spokane Falls Community College under Bob Everson. He went on to coach Quarterbacks at SFCC as the Spartans produced for NWAACC championships and dominated this level of football during that period.

When Spokane Falls dropped their football program in 1990 McCray returned to the High School ranks, becoming a counselor and assistant football coach at Mead High School with Mike McLaughlin. He also coached softball and won two GSL titles in that sport. In 1977 he took over as Head football coach and led his teams to the State playoffs every year until he retired in 2002 with a record of 24-14. Not ready to step away from the sidelines completely, he assisted John Barrington with softball until he retired fully from Mead High school in 2007.

He is thankful for all of the mentors he had on his journey and the fine young men & women he had the privilege of coaching. He’s been happily married to the love of his life, Tessa for 47 years, and enjoys painting, sculpting and spending time with his grandchildren in his retirement.

Robert (Marz) Marzulli

Marz was born November 21, 1933 to Domenick and Dorothy Rose (Horak) Marzulli in Spokane, Washington.  He passed away on November 16, 2011.

Bob grew up and attended schools at Calder, Idaho.  He graduated from St. Maries High School in 1952, where he excelled in football and baseball.  He then attended the University of Idaho fro 2 years before enrolling at Eastern Washington University.

Early in his career he went to work for the St. Maries Lumber Company and later Anderson and Vance Lumber Company in Fernwood, Idaho where he was employed for 2 years.  He worked 2 years for the Milwaukee Railroad before going to work for Edwards Lumber Mill in the Benewah Valley.  In 1970 he received his teaching certificate from the University of Idaho and went to work for the St. Maries High School District.  From 1970 to 1990 he taught Vocational Education at St. Maries High School. During his tenure he coached the High School golf team which won the State Championship in 1980.  Bob was instrumental in forming many youth programs in St. Maries.  He helped start the Little League and coached for 15 years. He formed a football program and “Marz’s Mob” a basketball program for elementary school children.

He retired from teaching in 1990 and drove school bus for another 10 years.  He continued to coach 7th and 8th grade sports.  He helped begin the Elk’s Hoop Shoot program as well as the Punt, Pass, and Kick program for area kids.

Bob liked to look at recipe books and try out recipes on his friends.  He loved to eat and if you traveled anywhere with him the highlight of the trip was eating at some great restaurants.  He had a green thumb and grew award winning roses.  Bob not only helped local kids, he donated to help kids in third world countries.  He was a Christian and practiced his religion.  He spent some time every day praying.  Bob was a 50 plus year member and three time Exulted Ruler of the St. Maries Elks Lodge #1418.  He served as Elk’s District Deputy and was awarded State of Idaho “Elk of the Year” in the late 1990’s. Bob was a member of St. Mary Immaculate Catholic Church of St. Maries, Idaho.

Mindy Madsen

Mindy grew up in the small town of Grand View, Idaho and went to Rimrock Jr/Sr High School.  The summer before her freshman year she qualified to go to the  Junior Olympics in Provo, Utah in the high jump.  She placed 2nd in her age group of  33 girls.  In high school Mindy lettered all four years in volleyball, basketball and  track.  In volleyball she earned 1st team all‐conference honors her sophomore  through senior years and broke 13 school records.  In basketball she earned 2nd team  all‐conference honors her freshman year, 1st team all‐conference honors her  sophomore year, 1st team all‐conference and 1st team all‐state honors her junior year  and was league MVP, all‐state A‐4 player of the year, and a Converse All‐American  her senior year.  She also broke 4 school records, 2 state tournament records (45  points in a game, 100 points in the tournament) and tied another state tournament  record (17 field goals in a game).

Mindy accepted a scholarship to play volleyball at the University of Idaho.  She was a  Big Sky 2nd team all‐conference selection and MVP of the conference tournament her  junior year.  Her senior year she was named league MVP, conference tournament  MVP, All Northwest Region 1st team, American Volleyball Coaches Association 2nd team All‐American (1st All‐American in conference history), Volleyball Magazine 3rd team All‐American, was 5th in the nation in kills per game, named the Idaho Woman  Athlete of the Year and the Inland Empire Amateur Female Athlete of the Year. After the volleyball season was over Mindy walked onto the basketball team and was a 1st team all‐conference selection that season as well as the next season (1st player in Big Sky conference history to be named all‐conference in both volleyball  and basketball).  During the summer of 1995 Mindy participated on one of the 4 volleyball teams in the Olympic Festival in Boulder, Colorado.  In 2007 she was inducted into the Idaho Vandal Athletic Hall of Fame as a charter member, and was  part of the 1994 volleyball team that was inducted in 2011. In 2004, after teaching and coaching for 9 years in Emmett, Idaho Mindy became a  stay at home mom to her 3 greatest accomplishments: Dane, Dallan and Brooklyn.

Ryan Phillips

Phillips played high school football in the Seattle area at Auburn Senior High School in Auburn, Washington, and college football for the Vandals of the University of Idaho in Moscow. Ryan terrorized quarterbacks for four seasons for the Vandals from 1993-1996. He was a three-time All-Conference defensive end and was the 1995 Big Sky Defensive Player of the Year. He was a two-time All-American, with second-team honors in 1994 and first-team honors in 1995, and earned invites to the Blue-Grey All-Star Game and the Senior Bowl in 1996. He was the team’s Most Valuable Player as well as the Defensive MVP in 1995 and 1996. His 39.5 sacks rank second all-time at Idaho, while his 91 tackles for loss are the most all-time.

After a successful college football career and earning a degree in Resource Recreation and Tourism from the U of I, Ryan was a third round draft pick by the Giants in the 1997 NFL Draft. He played in the 2001 Super Bowl XXXV, where the Giants lost to the Ravens 34-7. Ryan practiced with the New England Patriots in 2002 before retiring from the game and moving back to North Idaho to make a life. Ryan compiled 195 tackles in 71 games over five seasons with the Giants and Colts.

In 2001 Ryan married his high school sweetheart Angie and has two twin girls Date and Lauren.

Sherriden May

SHERRIDEN MAY played running back at Idaho during 1991-94 and is the school’s second all-time leading rusher behind Joel Thomas with 3,748 yards. He averaged 113.6 yards per game rushing, which is the top mark in UI history by more than 16 yards. He has a school-best 22 games with at least 100 yards rushing and his 689 carries is second on UI’s all-time list.

Not bad for someone who only played the position for three seasons at UI.

May came to Idaho as a defensive back and started at safety during his first season at UI. Vandal head coach John L. Smith then made good on a promise and allowed May to try out at running back as a sophomore, but Smith fully expected to put May back on defense. It didn’t take long for May to change Smith’s mind and by the second game of his sophomore season, May was UI’s starting running back.

May was the first player to ever lead the Big Sky in rushing for three consecutive years. He finished his career as the I-AA all-time leader in touchdowns with 61 and was second in career scoring with 366 points.

He finished his sophomore year with 1,111 rushing yards and 25 touchdowns and won the Big Sky rushing title. He repeated that feat as a junior when he went for 1,267 yards and 22 touchdown. He also averaged 172.2 all-purpose yards.

He topped those marks his senior year when he rushed for 1,370 yards, which ranks second on UI’s all-time list (the 1,267 yards as a junior is fourth on the list and his sophomore total stands 12th). He rushed for 100-plus yards in nine of UI’s 11 games that season.

As a senior, he was selected to three I-AA All-America squads, including the Sports Network, Associated Press, and American Football Coaches Association.

May is just one of seven Vandals to earn at least three first-team all-conference selections.

Following his outstanding career as a Vandal, May went undrafted but signed a free-agent contract with the New York Jets. He played in five games his rookie season with one start, and then was in eight games the following season.

After his NFL career ended, he became involved with personal training and in 1998, he played in the semi-pro league for the Puget Sound Jets. He then worked a year in the car business before he entered the mortgage business in 2001, where he still works today in Tacoma. May has 13-year-old twins Isaiah and Isabel and has been involved in a long-term relationship with Dimi Hartman, and her three children Dylan, Connor and Austin. In his spare time, May still enjoys working, out, spending time with family and friends, and traveling.

Sam Merriman

Sam Merriman is arguably one of the best defensive football players ever to step on the field at the University of Idaho. He was a key part of UI’s football rise in power during the early 1980s. He played his first two seasons under coach Jerry Davitch and then his final two years under Dennis Erickson.

Merriman was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona, where he was heavily involved in sports, including rodeo. He also made his mark on the football field and appeared to be headed to Northern Arizona University until a coach change saw him wind up at Idaho instead.

Merriman played linebacker at Idaho during 1979-83. He was a four-year starter and led the team in tackles his final three seasons. He earned all-conference honors all four seasons, including first-team all Big Sky his senior year. He was the team’s defensive MVP both his junior and senior seasons.

Merriman is the program’s all-time leading tackler with 519, which is 58 more than any other UI player. He had at least 111 tackles in every season, including 145 as a junior, which is the fourth-highest total in UI history. He is also tied for the all-time lead in career fumble recoveries with seven.

His most memorable game as a Vandal came in UI’s first NCAA Division I-AA playoff game, which was in 1982 at home against Montana when he made three consecutive goal-line tackles late in the fourth quarter when Montana had the ball inside the Idaho 2 to preserve the UI win.

Merriman played in the East-West Shrine Game and caught the attention of the Seattle Seahawks, who drafted him in the seventh round in the 1983 draft. He made his mark as an outstanding player on special teams for five seasons. He was penciled in as a starter during his sixth season, but suffered a career-ending knee injury in the second preseason game.

Merriman now resides in Tucson, Ariz., where he helps with area rodeos, a passion he has had since his youth.

Bob W. Maker

Robert W. Maker, 96

Robert W. Maker, of Corvallis, Mont., passed away Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. He was born Jan. 22, 1921, in Framingham, Mass. He was one of two children born to Clifford and Mildred Maker. His sister was Marion Copland. Robert’s wife, Berneice, passed away on June 28, 2005.

He is survived by his son, Robert and his wife, Julie of Anchorage, Alaska; cousins Rosalba Norton and Donald Maker of Warwick, R.I.; sisterin- law Evelyn Rappath of Prescott, Ariz.; niece Jane Buechele of Grafton, Iowa; grandchildren Paul, Chet and Robin; 12 greatgrandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. He graduated from Framingham High School, Mass., in 1938.

He went to Northeastern University on a hockey scholarship. Robert joined the Army Air Corps in 1942 and was commissioned a 2nd Lt. as a bombardier. He had more than 500 combat hours in the south pacific with the 43rd bomb group. Robert received the Air Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star and Purple Heart. Following World War II, he completed his education at Boston University where he earned all American honors in hockey. He was selected for the 1948 Olympic Hockey team, but did not choose to go because of his coaching responsibilities at Framingham High School. He was recalled into service as a navigator for the air lift from McChord AFB, Wash., to Korea, then later stationed at Mather AFB, Calif.

He met Berneice at Mather, where she was director of nurses. The couple were married Jan. 19, 1951. He was assigned to Fairchild AFB, Wash. He returned to Korea joining the 117th bomb group. Robert was a teacher and coach at Kettle Falls High School, Wash., Publicity Director for the Spokane Indians Baseball Club, Sports Editor of the Coeur d’Alene Press and Sports Information Director for the University of Idaho.

He helped found the Idaho Sports Banquet and the Idaho Hall of Fame. He was an active member of the Bitterroot Chapter of Trout Unlimited and a 65-year member of the American Legion. Robert and Berneice retired in Corvallis where he tied flies and fished his beloved Bitterroot River. He was still floating the river at 75 years old. His handle is “Biterroot Bob.” A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, March 2, 2017, at Faith Lutheran Church in Hamilton, Mont. Urn placement will take place at Corvallis Cemetery in Corvallis. Military honors will be presented with the U.S. Air Force and the Corvallis American Legion. Arrangements are under the care of the Daly-Leach Chapel in Hamilton. The family suggests memorials to the American Cancer Society or Faith Lutheran Church.

Heather M. Owen

Heather M. Owen’s athletics career took her around the globe, however, the Idaho native still lights up when asked about her home state. Born in 1976, Owen grew up in Moscow, Idaho and is proud to have competed for the Russell Elementary School Rams, the Moscow Junior High School Cubs, and the Moscow High School Bears. During her time as a Moscow Bear (1991-1994), Owen participated in volleyball, basketball, and track and field. The Moscow High School volleyball team placed third in the A-2 State Championship during Owen’s senior year, the basketball team won the A-2 State Championship three consecutive years (1992-1994), and the track and field team won the A-2 State Championship in 1992. Owen earned a number of individual honors during her time as a Moscow Bear, including,

  • National Honor Society member
  • Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) All-American (1993, 1994)
  • Idaho’s Gatorade Player of the Year (1993, 1994)
  • Idaho High School A-2 Player of the Year (1993, 1994)
  • Converse’s Idaho Player of the Year (1994)
  • Kodak All-America Team (1994)
  • Second Team Parade Magazine All-American (1994)
  • Second Team All-American by Street & Smith’s (1994)
  • Third Team USA Today All-American (1994)
  • Earned seven titles at Idaho State Track and Field Championships (1992-1994)

o Shot Put, Discus, High Jump, and 400 Meter Relay Team Champion (1992)

o Shot Put and Discus Champion (1993)

o Shot Put Champion (1994)

  • Remains the Idaho State record holder in the shot put (48’1) and the Moscow

High School record holder in the discus (140’).

  • Gatorade Circle of Champions Track and Field Idaho Athlete of the Year (1994)

Upon graduation from Moscow High School in 1994, Owen began her career at Stanford University (1994- 1998), where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a minor in Sociology. During her time on the Farm, Owen played four years on the women’s basketball team and earned Pacific-10 (Pac- 10) Conference All-Academic honors, as well as, Stanford Athletics Department Honor Roll recognition. Owen’s teams won four Pac-10 Conference Championships while appearing in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Tournament all four years, including three Final Four appearances. During her collegiate career, Owen also competed for USA Basketball on the West Olympic Festival Team (1995) and the U.S. Select Team (1996). After graduation from Stanford, Owen was drafted by the Portland Power of the American Basketball League (ABL) (1998); played a season in Rennes, France for Avenir de Rennes of the French Federation of Basketball (1999); and spent two seasons with the Washington Mystics of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) (1999, 2000). Owen retired from professional basketball in 2001, earned her Juris Doctor (JD) from Santa Clara University School of Law in 2003, and is currently the Senior Associate Athletics Director, Development, at Stanford University. Owen credits her family for their unwavering support and guidance through the many ups and downs and life lessons imparted through sport. Her late father, Glenn, was her strongest advocate and ally; her mother, Sandra, is her biggest fan and attended the majority of her athletics contests (all while raising a family and working fulltime); and her brother, Drew, refused to cut her any slack and taught her that anything is possible. Owen is honored and humbled by her selection to the Idaho Sports Hall of Fame, and wishes to thank all those who shared in the journey (family, teammates, coaches, staff, and fans).


Jake Plummer

Jake Plummer grew up in Boise and graduated from Capital High School in 1993.  He was a three-sport star in high school, playing baseball and basketball in addition to football.  He was selected as an all-state quarterback as well as punter twice, and passed for 6,097 yards and 68 touchdowns in his junior and senior years.

He attended Arizona State on a football scholarship, gaining national attention as “Jake the Snake” for his elusiveness on the playing field.  He was drafted in the second round of the 1997 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals.  In 1996 Jake lead ASU to an undefeated regular season, a Pac-10 championship, and ASU’s second trip to the Rose Bowl where they lost to Ohio State 20-17. Plummer was inducted into the Arizona State Hall of Fame in September 2007.

In 1998 Jake led the Cardinals to a 9-7 regular season record and an upset victory against the Dallas Cowboys in the playoffs, giving the Cardinals their first postseason victory since 1947.  In 2000, Plummer threw for 2,946 yards and had a 66 quarterback rating.  In 2001 he passed for 3,653 yards, 18 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions.  He had a stretch of 142 consecutive pass attempts without throwing an interception.  Plummer led the NFL in fourth-quarter passing yards (1,227) and led the Cardinals to a 7-9 record.  In 2002 Jake eclipsed the 15,000 passing yard mark against the San Diego Chargers.

In 2003 Plummer signed as a free agent with the Denver Broncos.  With the Broncos and head coach Mike Shanahan, Plummer had a season with a career high 91.2 quarterbacks rating. Plummer led the Broncos to wild card playoff berth in both 2003 and 2004 losing in the first round on both occasions.

In 2005 Plummer had his best season as a professional.  Most notable was his streak of 229 passes without an interception.  Jake led the Broncos to a 13-3 regular season record, a first round playoff bye, eventually losing to the Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship game.

Jake retired after the 2006 season with career stats of 161 touchdowns, 161 interceptions, 29,253 passing yards and a quarterback rating of 74.6.

Jake currently makes his home in Sandpoint with his wife Kollette.  Jake keeps the competitive juices flowing by playing competitive handball.