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Colby, Marygrace

Marygrace Colby '91
  • Sports: All Sports
  • Years Coached: 1963-1995
    • Basketball: 1963-1969, .538
    • Volleyball: 1963-1968
    • Swimming: 1963-1968
    • Golf: 1973-1977
    • Tennis: 1963-1979
  • Administrative Career: 1963-1995
    • Director of Women’s Athletics: 1963-1986
    • Assistant Athletic Director: 1987-1995
  • Overall Record: 433-324-6
  • Conference Titles: 3 WCC Championships
  • NCAA Tournament/Championship Appearances: 4 NCAA Tournament Appearances
  • Coached & mentored Olympic Swimmers, World Cup Soccer Players, and Honda National Athlete of the Year Winners.
  • Inducted in 1982

Marygrace Colby was initially hired by Santa Clara Athletics in 1963 to “direct and instruct young women in recreational athletic pursuits.” Her job description became only the tip of the iceberg of Colby’s impact on Santa Clara history. She began her career at SCU with a $500 budget for all women’s sports, two broken tennis rackets, and minimal space for practice. She also encountered resistance from a majority of the students, with one newspaper article reading: “[Women’s sports] “are a detriment to the spirit of Santa Clara events,” a widespread criticism after the passing of Title IX (1972). Despite the obstacles, Colby was steadfast in her efforts, continuing to make strides for the women’s athletics program at Santa Clara. With Colby as a coach, Director of Women’s Athletics, and Assistant Athletic Director, SCU produced Olympic swimmers and World Cup Soccer players. Even more impressive was her role in the lives of those women who became lawyers, doctors, teachers, and administrators. Colby’s commitment to leveling the playing field for female athletes allowed Bronco athletes to pursue excellence on and off the courts. Marygrace Colby became the namesake for the first-named athletic scholarship specifically awarded to a female athlete at Santa Clara University in 1995. The Annual Colby Women’s Intercollegiate Golf Tournament is also named in her honor. Colby set a phenomenal example for all athletes at SCU and nationwide even after retirement. She is also personally responsible for the recorded history of women’s athletics at Santa Clara, which can be found in the university’s online archives. 


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