"I would like to thank Blake James for this great opportunity,” Monroe said. “It gives me great pleasure to be the new leader of the Hurricane soccer program. When I visited the campus and met the people in the athletic department, I was quickly convinced of the passion and commitment to excellence this institution has for their student-athletes."
Monroe is the fourth head coach in program history, and will join Miami after seven years at the helm of a rising University of Albany program in the America East Conference. A well-respected player and instructor, Monroe competed on the field with the Boston Breakers of the WPSL Elite League as recently as the 2012 season.
“We are thrilled to have Mary-Frances join the Hurricanes family,” James said. “She will be a tremendous asset for our program. Based on her playing and coaching experience, we are confident that we have found the perfect coach to take the University of Miami program to unprecedented heights.”
Charged with building the Great Danes program from the ground up, Monroe and her coaching staff won 2009 America East Co-Coaching Staff of the Year honors in just her third year at the helm. During that season, the Great Danes earned the first Division I postseason berth in program history.
Just one year later in 2010, the Great Danes finished with a 10-8-2 record under Monroe’s direction – the first winning season for the program since 1988. Albany would win its first postseason tournament match in program history that season, advancing to the America East semifinals.
Her success would continue in 2011, as the Great Danes won seven consecutive games heading into their first-ever appearance in the America East Conference Championship game. Four of Monroe’s players were selected all-conference, among 13 who earned that recognition over her seven years as leader of the Danes.
“I am ecstatic to be coaching in the Atlantic Coast Conference, the most successful women's soccer conference in the country, as well as looking forward to taking the women's soccer program to the next level,” Monroe said.
A four-year college All-American at the University of Connecticut and UCLA, Monroe has served as liaison for U.S. Soccer's National Training Centers covering the New England area, including regions of New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island and Maine.
“We are excited to have Coach Monroe join our family,” UM Senior Associate AD Tim Wise said. “She comes highly recommended from her coaching peers. Coach Monroe’s experience as a collegiate player, professional soccer player, and on the National Team as well as her coaching the U14 Youth National Team, will bode well for us. I look forward to working with her and moving the program forward.”
During her time as a student-athlete at Connecticut and UCLA, Monroe was a candidate for the Hermann Trophy - awarded to the best female college soccer player in the country. As a freshman with the Huskies, the Northport, N.Y., native set the program’s single-season record with 65 points. Monroe was rewarded for her spectacular debut with BIG EAST Rookie of the Year honors and first-team all-conference recognition.
The former Soccer America Freshman of the Year earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology from UCLA in 2003.