Having earned three indoor football titles with the Los Angeles Temptation, Monique Gaxiola was bestowed with an even more prestigious feat. She was named the first inductee into the indoor female football Hall of Fame. The other finalists for the honor included Heather Furr, who led the Chicago Bliss to indoor titles in 2013 and 2014, Marirose Roach, an attorney that played a key role in the Philadelphia Passion’s Eastern Conference dominance and Temptation head coach David Bizub.
With five seasons in the United States under her belt, Gaxiola has grown into a veteran role where her leadership has helped Los Angeles remain as one of the elite teams in indoor football. In addition, she also played in Australia with the New South Wales Surge. Along with Chloe Butler (who played with Gaxiola in Los Angeles), the two would help the Surge capture a championship down under, with a 36-15 title win over the Western Australia Angels.
Known affectionately as “Gax”, she has earned multiple All-League selections, along with the Comeback Player of the Year Award in 2011 and an award in 2013 named after the commissioner of indoor female football, which recognizes sportsmanship and dedication.
The middle child with four brothers, they would provide a sporting influence in her youth. Between football, basketball and soccer, there was always a sporting endeavor to support her active lifestyle. Of note, her father was a coach when she participated in youth soccer. He would help set positive examples that are testament to her strong leadership skills in football.
A key focus in her sport is to attempt to remove the focus on sexuality. Describing herself as a tomboy growing up, Gaxiola’s main sporting focus revolved around soccer. Competing at the University of Southern California (where former teammate Melissa Marguiles excelled in track and field) on its varsity soccer team, she would help the club capture a national championship in 2007. Of note, she would graduate from USC in 2009 with a communications degree. Her 15+ years experience as a soccer player resulted in stints on the Mexican Under-19 and Under-20 national women’s soccer teams.
Even during her football career, she has maintained her multi-sport status. Of note, her athletic resume only expands as she gained certification as a Crossfit trainer. According to Gaxiola, the league’s commissioner had stated to her that he would like her to one day become its first female coach, which would be a fitting triple crown of sorts, complementing her championships and Hall of Fame accolades.
Statistically, she has many solid seasons of quality play. After the 2013 campaign, she compiled 14.5 total tackles (10 solo), including five stops for losses and an interception returned for a touchdown. Amidst player turnover in 2014, she continued to maintain a high standard of play on defense. She tied with Ogom Chijindu for the team lead with 15 tackles (10 solo), while being the only player on the squad to recover a fumble during the season.
Quite possible her best asset with the franchise is her emotional maturity. Understanding that actions speak louder than words, she leads on every team she plays for by setting a positive example of hard work. A key aspect in her work ethic is the self-discipline to deal with her past struggles with weight. From weights, cardio and a coach, her commitment to fitness is a source of encouragement for young women facing their own body image issues.
Taking her responsibility as a role model very seriously, she is an inspiration for young Mexican-American female athletes looking to make their own sporting dreams come true. These values make Gaxiola more than just an accomplished athlete, but an accomplished person.