Marilyn Louise McReavy-Nolen died April 13, 2023, at the Reagan County Care Center in Big Lake, Texas, aged 78 years. She was born in San Angelo, Texas, October 24, 1944, to Richard D. and Maurine (Miller) McReavy. She attended Reagan County schools, receive an AA degree magna cum laude from Howard County College in Big Spring, Texas, a BS degree cum laude from Texas State University in Sam Marcos, Texas, and a Master of Education degree with honors from Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas.
Marilyn devoted her life to women’s sports and the sport of volleyball. She was a member of the 1967 U.S. gold medal team at the Pan American Games, the 1968 U.S. Volleyball Olympic team, and the 1970 U.S.A. World Games team. She also helped establish the first National Training Center for the U.S.A. Olympic Volleyball team.
She had head coaching stints at Sul Ross State University, (72-0 record, 2 national championships), New Mexico State University, Utah State University (national championship and national runner-up), the University of Kentucky, the University of Florida, the University of North Florida (where she also coached softball), St. Louis University, and Sul Ross University a second time. She was also an assistant coach for the Phoenix Heat coed professional volleyball team.
She was named a Distinguished Alumna by Texas State University and is a member of the American Volleyball Coaches Association Hall of Fame, the Women’s Sports Hall of Fame, the U.S.A. Volleyball Hall of Fame, the Utah State University Hall of Fame, and the Reagan County Athletics Hall of Fame. She was named a “Leader in Volleyball” by the U.S. Volleyball Association, one of the “All Time Great Coaches by the USAV, and a Title IX Trailblazer by the Atlantic 10 Conference. She was also a much-sought-after speaker, trainer, and clinician.
Over 30 of her players have won All-American honors and several have gone on to successful Olympic careers.
She notched 809 career victories, and at the time of her retirement was the third-winningest women’s volleyball coach in history.
In 1988 she married Rev. Randolph Nolen, at that time a Navy chaplain, to whom she remained married for 35 years until her death. They made their home in Roswell, New Mexico. They raised two outstanding sons, Travis Steven of Socorro, New Mexico, and Ryan David, of Austin, Texas.
In addition to her immediate family, she is survived by her sister, Jo Theriot (Tom) of Hico, Texas, sister-in-law Sharon McReavy of Hockley, Texas, nieces Laura McReavy Hearnsberger, and Holly Longenbach (Michael) and nephews Chris McReavy (Emily), Marcus Theriot (Alicia), and Matthew Theriot (Amber).
She was preceded in death by her brother Richard McReavy, her parents Richard D. and Maurine Miller McReavy, and her stepfather Gilbert Schneider.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the U S Volleyball Association or the Deacons’ Fund of First Presbyterian Church of Roswell New Mexico.
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