New York, NY — Columbia University’s men’s and women’s squash programs will be elevated to varsity status this fall. Kelsey Engman has been named head coach of the women’s program, and Jacques Swanepoel, who was hired as head coach last year, will continue to lead the men’s program.
“We are thrilled to elevate the men and women’s squash program to varsity status this academic year,” said Dr. M. Dianne Murphy, Columbia’s Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Physical Education, in a recent announcement. “The support for the Columbia Squash Programs has been outstanding. We are extremely fortunate to have both Kelsey and Jacques to lead our two teams. Our programs have excellent leadership and are poised for success.”
Engman, a former number 1 at Bates, worked with the Columbia teams last season. Under her leadership, the Columbia women won the 2010 Epps Cup (“D” Division), defeating Tufts 7-2 in the final; Engman spent two years at Tufts before coming to Columbia.
“I’m so excited and optimistic about the upcoming season and the opportunity to join the Columbia Athletics Program,” Engman told Columbia University Athletics. “We have a great group of returning women and I am so excited to get to know the new members of the team this fall. I am really grateful to Dr. Dianne Murphy for giving me this opportunity, and am excited to see the team climb the rankings this year. I can hardly wait for the season to begin.”
Swanepoel, a former member of the South African national team and a two-time All-American at Trinity, will be working with a men’s squad that finished 35th last year at the Men’s National Team Championships. Both teams will continue to practice at the StreetSquash facility and be involved with the Street Squash program.
Other new varsity programs have had great success in recent years. Last season, both the men’s and women’s “C” Divisions were won by relatively new varsity programs — Middlebury for the men and George Washington for the women — and the Stanford women, who only became a varsity team in 2005, finished 6th in the nation.