It is not easy being a member of a prominent athletic family in a small town like Windsor Locks. Nancy Shapiro O’Brien’s athletic career began in the shadow of her Father Spud, her uncle Al (both Hall of Fame members) and her brother Steve.
But it was not long before Nancy stepped in to the light, forging her own stellar sports legacy while leading the way for the girls coming up behind her.
Entering Windsor Locks High School while Title IX was being implemented, Nancy and her teammates were among the pioneers of women’s athletics.
Nancy made the best of the three sports that were available to her, playing four years of field hockey, three years of basketball and two years of softball.
With Nancy at wing the field hockey team reached the semi- finals of the state tournament in 1973.
The basketball team had an amazing record of 33-2 over a two-year period. They would have done better in the state tournament if their two top players had not come down with an illness.
Her senior year Nancy’s scoring average was 18.1.
Although at the time there were no all-state honors for women, Nancy was invited to play in the prestigious Hardware City Classic All-star game.
As a pitcher on the softball team she won 7 games one season. .
Nancy went on to play basketball and softball at Springfield College before she embarked on a long career as a teacher and coach in Ellington.
Nancy and her husband Tim have 2 children Andrew and Scott.
Nancy worked in the Ellington School system for 44 years.
She began as a PE teacher but spent the balance of her career as a career counselor. She coached Varsity Soccer, JV Basketball and softball during her time in Ellington.
Her family enjoys swimming and playing pool games; pool basketball is a family favorite.
Nancy’s hobbies include running, walking, hiking, swimming, gardening, reading and the theater.
She also enjoys going to the beach and spending time with family and friends.