HomeArticlesZafi Levy, Williams College Head Squash Coach Retires

Zafi Levy, Williams College Head Squash Coach Retires

Assistant Professor of Physical Education and Head Men’s and Women’s Squash Coach, Zafi Levy, has announced his retirement from Williams College after a distinguished 21-year tenure. Under his leadership, the men’s and women’s squash teams have consistently achieved top-level performance, securing a streak of winning seasons and numerous titles.

The College Squash Association recognizes Coach Levy’s substantial contributions to Williams College and to the College Squash community. His dedication has profoundly impacted the sport and he leaves a lasting legacy of excellence.

We invite you to read a personal letter from Coach Levy, where he shares reflections on his time at Williams, his gratitude towards the community, and his aspirations for the future. Join us in celebrating his remarkable career and extending best wishes for his upcoming endeavors.

Letter from Coach Zafi Levy:
Today I announce my retirement from coaching the Williams College men’s and women’s squash teams after an amazing twenty-one years. While the health concerns that led to my leave of absence for the last year are under control and I am well, my time away from Williams helped me not only regain my health but to conclude that it is time for me to move on to the next stage of my career. I am proud of what Williams squash has accomplished over these two-plus decades and perhaps even prouder that my successor will inherit a strong and vibrant program. 

It is important for me to publicly thank those who contributed to my success as a coach and my happiness as a member of the Williams community. None of this would have happened without the influence of the legendary Paul Assiante who first recruited me to Trinity College in 1997 and fulfilled my dream to study and play squash in the US, and, of course, Dave Johnson ‘71, who later recruited me to Williams in 1998. I am equally indebted to the man who brought me back to the Berkshires in 2003, Harry Sheehy, former Williams athletic director, who is still one of my closest friends; with more confidence in me than I had myself, Harry trusted me as a young coach to lead our squash program. Of course, my athletes and I could not have achieved what we have without the enthusiastic support of our current athletic director Lisa Melendy, a great leader of our department. My CSA colleagues, too, have been so important to me, including my late friends Dave Talbott and Bob Callahan, and John Illig, and those coaches who are still with us; Mark Lewis, Sean Wilkinson, Gail Ramsay, Peter Robson, John White, Jack Wyant, Gilly Lane. Finally, I must thank David Pearson, perhaps the most accomplished squash coach in the world, a great friend whose knowledgeable and thoughtful approach to coaching our game has been the most powerful influence on my own.  All are still great role models for me, good people who helped me develop personally and professionally into the person I am today.    

Of course, successful coaching at the collegiate level is a team effort, and I have been blessed with two of the best assistant coaches at any top squash program: Blair Dills and Tom Hodgson ‘74. Both Tom and Blair have worked tirelessly to coach and support our athletes, and they deserve much of the credit for the program’s success. Blair, who has been by my side for over fifteen years, coached hundreds of squash matches with me over the years, traveled countless weekends all over the country, and shared some incredible moments, all for the love of the game and passion for our teams. 

Athletics is more fun when you’re competitive, and it is of great satisfaction to me that our men and women have finished each of the last twenty-one seasons with a winning record, a streak matched by only a relative handful of College Squash Association programs. Within that context, I am so proud of the twenty-four consecutive Little III titles we claimed, beginning in 1999 when I was on the team as a junior. I am also proud of what my fellow coaches and I accomplished in the NESCAC over that time, including the establishment of the NESCAC squash championship fifteen years ago. 

Over the years I was fortunate to recruit, coach, and mentor hundreds of Williams squash players, some of whom number among my closest friends today. Indeed Williams squash would not have been so successful over the years without the outstanding character and talent of the students we recruited with the consistent support of the College’s Admissions Office. The most gratifying aspect of being their coach was the opportunity to contribute to the growth and development of these fine young men and women during their time at Williams.

In my next chapter, I will focus mainly on developing the junior players, some of whom, I hope, will find their way to Williams. Along with my wife Dalit, I also look forward to supporting our older son, Eli, as he starts his journey at the Naval Academy and our younger son, Noah, as he enters his freshman year at Saint Paul’s School. 

 Go Ephs!