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December 03, 2014

Celebrating the Life of Nancy Myrick

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - USA Archery is celebrating the life of Nancy Myrick, a top competitive archer, coach and tournament official who played a pivotal role in the National Archery Association (now USA Archery). Myrick passed away on November 27.

Myrick was a fierce competitor, who took part in the first-ever Pan American Games in 1979. According to World Archery Americas, she set three individual and one team World Records in 1967, and was the first woman in the world who shot 1200 points in a single FITA Round. Myrick took part in three World Championship events in which she won team bronze and silver medals.

However, much of Myrick's contribution to the sport of archery related to her work as a coach, judge and in her development of the United States Archery Team and Resident Athlete programs.

Myrick's passion for archery was legendary. Frontier magazine notes in May 1984 that as a competitor, Myrick was "really angry" to see American competitors falling behind: "She came to Colorado Springs to change that. Myrick, who had been shooting since 1963, left her job, put her furniture and clothes into storage and budgeted herself $20 a month in personal expenses."

"I can't just go out and shoot for fun," Myrick told Frontier in an interview. "I have to compete, and I'm tired; so this is my last year. After this, I hope to do some part-time coaching. Maybe give something back to archery for all it's given me."

Myrick went on to initiate the National Archery Association's Resident Athlete program in Colorado Springs in 1987. Myrick coached athletes to several medal wins at international events, and the Resident Athlete Program produced a 1992 Olympian and several World Championships team members under her guidance. Named National Coach of the Year in 1998, Myrick also became the Interim Director at the ARCO Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California in that same year, and helped to manage the United States Archery Team (USAT) program.

"Nancy was a pioneer in our early development of a central High Performance and training programs, including the Resident Athlete program," commented Denise Parker, USA Archery CEO. "She had endless passion for this sport and was incredibly instrumental in many archers' lives, including mine. I am thankful to have been touched by her sincere efforts, whether that was coaching, officiating, shooting or general passion and leadership for the sport."

Others who knew Myrick echo Parker's comments. Sheri Rhodes, USA Archery's National Events Manager and a longtime archery colleague of Myrick's notes: "Nancy was an asset to USA Archery. Her experiences as a top archer gave her insights to coaching, judging and being a program administrator.  She was very dedicated to this sport."  

Olympic medalist and World Champion Rick McKinney credits Myrick with giving selflessly to the sport of archery. "Nancy had archery in her blood," McKinney explains. "The love of the sport was what kept her giving and giving. She was truly one of the pioneers for organized archery. She made a difference."

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