The College Squash Association (CSA) has awarded the MIT men’s squash team the prestigious Sloane Award for team sportsmanship, it was announced on the last day of the 2019 CSA Men’s Team National Championships. This is the first time that MIT has won the award.
“It is a great honor to receive this award and be recognized for our team’s efforts this year,” said MIT Head Coach Thierry Lincou. “This is a tribute to the players and how they have bought in to what we have asked of them.”
Former Haverford and Williams Head Coach Sean Sloane, for whom the award is named, was on court on Sunday to present the award during the introductions for the Summers Division Final against 2018 Sloane Award winners, Brown. “Squash is different from most sports because the players share the court,” commented Sloane. “Without sportsmanship by both players, the game can easily deteriorate into a messy and dangerous battle.”
“Every squash player and squash team knows that there are only an elite few teams that actually have a chance to win the national team championship. But EVERY team in the CSA has a chance to “win” the Sloane Team Sportsmanship Award. I congratulate Thierry Lincou and Stuart leGassick for coaching their players to understand and implement the highest standards of sportsmanship.”
MIT finished No. 17 in the final team rankings for the 2018-2019 season, their highest finish in program history, and won the 2019 Summers Cup. The Engineers upset Bates and Brown en route to the championship.
An award for team sportsmanship was first given in 1981. The team that won the award that year—Williams College—was coached by Sean Sloane. A nationally ranked hardball player, Sloane had been coaching both squash and tennis at Williams since the 1970s, and his teams were known for their spirit and sportsmanship. Sloane eventually left Williams to serve as the Director of the USTA’s Education and Recreation Program, but when he returned to coaching in 1997 at Haverford, his teams continued to be recognized for their sportsmanship. The award was renamed in Sloane’s honor in 2005.