North Bay Elite Staff


Monica Mertle

Club Director/Coach

Monica Mertle attended Ursuline High School of Santa Rosa, CA, a short drive from her hometown of Windsor. She was a four year Varsity player on an Ursuline Bears team that garnered one Northern California Finals appearance and three Northern California Semi-Finals appearances during her time there. As a junior and a senior she was named First Team All-State (Division 4) as well as NBL MVP and Redwood Empire Player of the Year. As a senior she was also named Third Team All-State All Divisions.  She spent a majority of her high school career being ranked amongst the top power forwards in the state of California by a number of recruiting polls.

After being offered basketball scholarships by several Pac-12, WAC and WCC schools, Monica chose to play her college career at St. Mary's College of CA where she was recognized as both an All-Academic and All-Conference player. She graduated Cum Laude from St. Mary's College in May of 2007 earning her BA in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Coaching and Teaching.

After graduation Monica left Moraga to attend graduate school at UC Davis, home to one of the top Exercise Science graduate programs in the country.  She earned her Masters Degree in Exercise Science in 2010 after completing her thesis study on The Heart Rate Response of Youth Basketball Coaches.  Most of her graduate work was in the field of Exercise Metabolism, looking specifically at the nutritional needs of high school athletes.  She is currently working towards a second Masters Degree in Sport Psychology as well as a Trauma Certificate at JFK University in Pleasant Hill.

In addition to her duties at North Bay Elite Monica teaches Exercise Science, Sport Psychology and Sociology of Sport at Cardinal Newman High School in Santa Rosa.  She is also the Varsity Girls Basketball Coach at Cardinal Newman.  She has led the Cardinals six consecutive North Bay League and North Bay League Tournament Championships (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019).  In 2016 she led the Cardinals to a Division 4 State Championship followed by a North Coast Section Division 4 Section Championship and a trip to the Northern California Open Division Finals in 2017.  The Cardinals were also an Open Division Participant in 2018.  

Prior to working at Cardinal Newman Monica spent time working as a Graduate Assistant at UC Davis, aiding in the instruction of classes such as The Cardiovascular Response to Exercise and Metabolism and Energetics.  She also spent a year teaching Exercise Physiology at Sonoma State University.

Monica's Coaching Awards/Honors:

2018 NorCal Preps North Coast Section Coach of the Year
2018 Coach of the Year
2017 California Coaches Association Northern California Coach of the Year
2017 San Francisco Chronicle Coach of the Year
2017 Prep2Prep North Coast Section Coach of the Year
2016 MaxPreps State Coach of the Year
2016 San Francisco Chronicle Coach of the Year
2016 Best of Sonoma County Award-Best High School Coach
2016 Northern California Preppy Award-Female Team Coach of the Year
2016 Coach of the Year
2015 Coach of the Year
2014 Press Democrat All Empire Coach of the Year
2014 Coach of the Year


Heidi Watts


Heidi Watts (formerly Heidi Mertle) attended Ursuline High School of Santa Rosa, CA where she competed on the Ursuline Bears Varsity Basketball team for four years. In addition to earning All-League and All-Empire honors her sophomore, junior, and senior years and team MVP her senior year, Heidi was on the Principal's list maintaining at least a 4.0 GPA in all 8 of her high school semesters.

After high school Heidi continued her playing career, accepting a scholarship to play basketball at Sonoma State University.  She finished her playing career by leaving numerous marks on the SSU Womens Basketball Record Book, ranking 1st in games played, 8th in blocked shots and 5th in rebounds.   In addition, Heidi was one of only seven players in SSU history to accumulate over 500 points and 500 rebounds in her career.   She was also a four time CCAA All-Academic Player and was named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District VIII Second Team her senior year.   She graduated from SSU with her B.S. in Kinesiology in 2009 after which she earned her Master's Degree in Occupational Therapy from Dominican University.  She currently works as an Occupational Therapist specializing in joint replacements.  


Alexis Tappe