Maralee Foss


Maralee was born July 7, 1937 in Harrison, Idaho, thirty-five minutes after her twin sister, Charleda. After attending most of her school years in Coeur d’Alene, she graduated from Coeur d’Alene Hight School in 1956 as valedictorian.

Her total sports experience outside of P.E. classes consisted of one play day at the University of Idaho, due to the generosity of a parent taking six girls to the event. After high school Maralee headed to Brigham Young University where she and her sister completed their Bachelor of Science Degrees in three years. Maralee obtained her Master’s Degree in 1970. While at BYU she earned National DGWS ratings in volleyball and basketball, allowing her to get a great deal of experience officiating ball games.

The twins also had the unique experience of officiating the Utah State “hop-scotch” tournament. Both Charleda and Maralee were fortunate on the volleyball teams that demonstrated the first three-hit volleyball games ever played, at the national AAHPERD Convention in Salt Lake City. They were also lucky to be chosen as the demonstration officials for the first women’s roving player basketball game. Maralee’s years at North Idaho College. She did very little coaching until she started teaching at Rogers High in Spokane, WA, where she coached girls tennis. She set up and played exchange games of volleyball and basketball with CHS, where her sister taught.

In the fall of 1969, Maralee was hired at NIC to teach PE First Aid, and start the Women’s Varsity Sports Program. NIC joined the Pine League, consisting of Eastern Washington State College (EWU), Gonzaga University, Whitworth College, and Spokane Community College. Her officiating background helped a great deal, because when she wasn’t coaching she had to officiate. While at NIC, Maralee coached volleyball, basketball, tennis, and gave softball a try. Softball didn’t work because the State of Idaho was playing slow-pitch and colleges were playing fast-pitch softball, thus no college competition. NIC’s women’s basketball team won the 1972 Pine League Championship against a four year school, and qualified for the Regional Basketball Tournament in Tacoma, Washington Her tennis teams won the 1978 and 1979 Region 18 NJCAA Tournament and Maralee was named Tennis Coach of the Year both seasons. NIC Women’s Tennis players also attended three NJCAA National Tennis Tournaments 1978-1980.

She ended her career at NIC as the Department Chairperson of the Physical Education Department. In addition to coaching, officiating high school and college sports, Maralee served on the Spokane Board of Officials, served on the Kootenai Family YMCA Board, was a First Responder Instructor, and Instructor trainer for the American Red Cross. She, along with her sister, coordinated and ran the Coeur d’Alene girls Softball program for ten years. Maralee was honored by NIC with the Outstanding Faculty Achievement Award in 1988, a Certificate of Honor for service from the YMCA in 1990 and in 1993 receiving the Sterling Silver Award for Employee of the Month. Also in 1993 she was inducted into the Idaho New Agenda Hall of Fame; served a two year term on the IAHPERD Board as the District One Representative, and represented Idaho as the IAHPERD Delegate to the AAHPERD National Convention in Atlanta, Georgia.

Along with her sister, Maralee was honored as a North Idaho Sports Pioneer in 2008. Now retired, Maralee spends her time playing golf, wishing she could play like she used to. She has only one Nine Hole Club Championship and no “hole in one”, but she is still out there, hitting short and straight down the middle, just like a little old lady who is almost eighty!!

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