Originally a soccer player, Girls Basketball Head Coach Elizabeth Monroe first picked up basketball in seventh grade as she didn’t have a winter sport to play. Monroe continued playing throughout high school, where she was a four-season varsity player, three-season starter, two-season captain, and one season MVP, averaging 18 points per game. After high school, Monroe went on to play two seasons for Haverford College. In her coaching career, Monroe served as Head Coach for the Girls Varsity team at Thomas Jefferson School in St. Louis for seven years, leading the team to three Metro Athletic Conference championship titles prior to joining Andover in 2014, according to Andover Athletics.
Monroe’s extensive experience within the sport allows her to identify key areas of improvement for the team. According to Co-Captain Kiley Buckley ’23, Monroe is both a seasoned professional and understanding coach.
“I think Coach Monroe is a coach that definitely knows the game of basketball and knows what we need to work on and has us work on things that can prepare us for the next game and like future games and practice. So I think she’s always well prepared and knows how to deal with our opponents and what matchups need to happen. And then also, I just think as a person, coaching Monroe is just really nice and understands if you have conflicts or problems and you can just talk to her about it,” said Buckley.
Monroe believes success is determined by taking control of the controllables and supporting each other as a team. According to Monroe, doing so will allow the team to persevere in face of adversity.
“I think one of the most important lessons is to focus on the things you can control, the things that you can do, and take charge of those. If you can do that, it will put you in position to find success, even among the things you can’t control. I think the other thing is being able to work with others and be a part of a team and to lift up other people around you,” said Monroe.
An Instructor in History and Economics, Monroe applies the teaching aspect of her life to basketball. According to Monroe, she prefers to provide guidance to players rather than command specific directions.
“I think I’m a teacher first, and I try to help my players learn the game of basketball better and have a better sense of what to do so that when they are on the court they can make the right decisions. I don’t want to micromanage them, but I want to help them have the skills and tools to play the game themselves.”
Monroe has served as a mentor for the team both on and off the court. According to Buckley, Monroe has taught her to maintain composure in tense situations and facilitate constant communication.
Buckley said, “I think personal lessons… just keeping your composure in the end of the game, like tight situations, and just always communicating. It doesn’t matter if you’re on the court or off the court, just letting each other know and not even basketball related, just being honest and communicating with your peers… I think I’ve learned a lot of different things from her in basketball. I definitely have improved on communicating on the court.”
Co-Captain Kennedy Herndon ’23 shared a similar sentiment to Buckley, noting the leadership opportunities Monroe has given to her.
“I have learned to be a better leader, due to coach Monroe putting me in positions where a leader is needed,” wrote Herndon in an email to The Phillipian.
Monroe currently leads Andover with a 5-6 record. Moving forward, she looks to develop the team’s skills while maintaining an enjoyable environment on and off the court.
“Ultimately, I think our goal is to rise up as far as we can in terms of our talent level, and most importantly to have fun and the team to play well together,” said Monroe.
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