The 2021 summer was very active for coaching changes in the College Squash Association (CSA), with four new head coaches assuming their roles and three vacancies still remaining. Yale University, Chatham University, University of Rochester, and Georgetown University all found new leaders, while recent departures leave open positions at Columbia University, Dartmouth College, and Dickinson College.
Right at the beginning of the summer, Yale’s Associate Head Coach Lynn Leong earned a promotion to Brooks G. Ragen Director of Squash where she will serve as the head coach of both the women’s and men’s teams. Leong takes over for Yale legend and College Squash Hall of Famer Dave Talbott, who retired from coaching earlier this year.
Leong, originally from Malaysia, served as the senior assistant and then the associate head coach at Yale for a total of four seasons before moving into the head coaching role. As a player, she won two national collegiate team championships with Trinity College and was a three-time First Team All-America selection.
Joining Leong’s staff as an assistant coach is Campbell Grayson. The 17-year veteran of the Professional Squash Association World Tour from New Zealand will coach both programs.
In the young history of Chatham Squash, the Cougars have found their second leader in Chris Fernandez, formerly the head coach at Dickinson College. Fernandez will be tasked with fostering a fast-improving men’s team while guiding the women’s team through their first full season of varsity play.
Fernandez’s experience as a CitySquash graduate, an accomplished interscholastic and collegiate player at Canterbury School and St. Lawrence University, and a Squash & Education Alliance board member will serve him well as he expands on the foundation laid by inaugural Chatham head coach Larissa Stephenson.
University of Rochester
The heralded University of Rochester men’s program shuffled the deck this summer by naming alumnus and former assistant coach Mario Yanez Tapia as their new head coach. Yanez takes over that position from Martin Heath, who transitions to the newly formed role of Director of Men’s Squash Elite Performance.
The program’s all-time leader in wins, Yanez helped lead the Yellowjackets to three Top-6 finishes during his three seasons as assistant coach. Along with the accolades within the team, Yanez also earned four straight First Team All-America nods and was the National Collegiate Individual Finalist during his senior season in 2017.
Heath will have a unique opportunity to develop a team-specific high performance program while continuing to support the Rochester players and Yanez’s transition to head coach.
Earlier this week, Georgetown named Tim Lasusa as the inaugural head coach for the new varsity women’s team. Lasusa arrives in Washington after spending the previous four seasons as an assistant coach at Yale University alongside Talbott and Leong.
Lasusa will need to get up to speed fast as the academic year, the recruiting timeline, and the season all ramp up quickly this fall. He will rely on his experience at Yale as well as his playing experience at powerhouse St. Lawrence University to set a path for the new program.
New Assistant Coaches
Amherst College – Thijs van der Pluijm
Bowdoin College – Brendan McClintick
St. Lawrence University – Jamie Oakley
Yale University – Campbell Grayson