Mollie Marcoux was a top-notch ice hockey player -- a three-time MVP at Princeton -- who helped create a solid foundation for the dozens of Ivy League women's hockey players who would go on to earn Olympics medals.
When Mollie Marcoux was six years old she came home from school and announced she was going to play ice hockey. She explains "I was a total tomboy from birth. All my friends were boys. I got a flier in school about hockey. My parents were surprised, but supported me all the way."
Not many girls played hockey in the mid-seventies, but her parents' support helped put Marcoux on the road to being named to the all-ECAC team of the decade in 1990, when only a Princeton sophomore.
Marcoux played soccer and hockey while growing up in Ithaca, N.Y., next to Cornell, and when it came time to apply to college, she applied only to Ivy schools. She chose Princeton for its atmosphere. "People really cared they were at Princeton. They recognize and appreciate athletes. People care a little more."
Marcoux feels she didn't miss anything because of sports while at Princeton, except possibly some partying. She majored in history, achieving athletic excellence while taking a full slate of classes. "The busier you are the better you do," is her philosophy. She was even able to do some research and independent study, which she found very rewarding. She says of the variety of opportunities, "Princeton allows you to wear many hats."
While wearing her sports hat Marcoux accumulated an impressive array of hockey laurels. She was four-time All-Ivy, all ECAC in 1991, three-time Princeton MVP, and now stands second in Princeton career goals (120), assists (96), and points (216). In 1999 she was named to the Ivy League's Silver Anniversary ice hockey team.
Marcoux is also a four-time soccer and lacrosse letterwinner, giving her 12 letters overall. Her fondest memories of Princeton are of the sports culture and the support of the student body for the teams, even when winning was infrequent.
After graduating in 1991 Marcoux went to work at the Lawrenceville School (a private school in nearby Lawrenceville, N.J.), where she served as assistant athletic director and coached soccer and hockey. She also lived in a dorm full of 16-year-old boys. Lawrenceville now gives the Mollie Marcoux Award each year to the player who best exemplifies Marcoux?s philosophy and values. The first award winner? Marcoux herself.
She stayed at Lawrenceville until 1995, then decided it was time to "enter the real, adult world." She looked for a sports-related job and found a marketing position for the newly-opened Chelsea Piers complex in Manhattan. In her 11 years there she's had a number of jobs, including running Chelsea Pier's first summer camp and its events program.
Currently Marcoux is a vice president and general manager of the field house. She says her bosses, all Yale alums, hired her, and continue to promote her to jobs that are outside her academic and work experience, because they feel the same qualities are required to succeed in sports and business.
Her bosses would know, because they include Roland Betts '68, a former Yale hockey player who is Chairman of Chelsea Piers and a director of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. Marcoux agrees, saying, "the things you learn make a gigantic difference. You learn to shoot to excel and to work in a group for a common goal." She feels that success in business is about leadership more than anything else.
Marcoux has played in some hockey leagues since graduation, and tried out for the Olympic team, but quit because it would be seven years until women's hockey made its Olympic debut in 1998. She now takes a more casual approach to sports, playing some golf and running in marathons.
While pregnant with her first child in 2003 Marcoux thought it would be a good idea to open a day care center for the children of employees at Chelsea Piers. It was a good idea. Opening to the neighborhood as well as employees in 2004, the center has been expanding ever since, now consisting of five rooms. Marcoux has two daughters who attend there, and she can visit them during spare moments during her workday. One day she hopes they will attend an Ivy League school too.
"I would love to send my daughters to a place with those kinds of values. You get to have a great education while doing what you love at a high level."
— Suzanne Eschenbach