HomeArticlesAnn Wetzel, CSA Hall of Famer, Dies at the Age of 92

Ann Wetzel, CSA Hall of Famer, Dies at the Age of 92

Ann Wetzel, pioneering figure in women’s collegiate squash, passed away on May 15, 2024, at the age of ninety-two. Ann’s extraordinary contributions to the sport, both on and off the court, have left an enduring legacy within the College Squash Association (CSA) and the broader squash community.

Wetzel was born on July 18, 1931, in Pittsburgh and grew up in Philadelphia. She attended Haverford High School and then the University of Pennsylvania.

At Penn, she was a standout athlete, excelling in both squash and tennis – Wetzel was a key player on the 1951 undefeated squash team. During her sophomore year, Wetzel was the runner-up in the Middle States tournament and was the Philadelphia Squash Racquets Champion. During her junior year, she went on to win a National Squash Championship.

In her post college playing career, she quickly became one of the top players in the country, amassing several titles, including four Pennsylvania State titles, eight Philadelphia and District titles, and one Connecticut title. She went on to win the National Singles squash title in 1964 at the age of 32.

Ann’s impact extended far beyond her playing career. She was the first coach of the Penn Women’s Squash team, establishing a women’s club team in 1968, which formally transitioned to varsity status in 1974, marking the beginning of a new era for women’s collegiate squash. As the first Head Coach of Women’s Squash at Penn, Ann led the team with unmatched dedication for over twenty years, achieving a remarkable 154-116 record. Her guidance as a coach helped shape the careers of many notable players, including three-time National Singles Champion Alicia McConnell (1982-84), CSA First-Team All-American Karen Kelso (1984-85), along with 15 CSA Second-Team All-Americans, and 11 All-Ivy honorees.

While serving as Head Coach for the University of Pennsylvania women’s team, Ann notably co-founded the United States Women’s Intercollegiate Squash Racquets Association in 1973, which evolved into the Women’s College Squash Association (WCSA). Her visionary efforts were instrumental in the growth and sustainability of women’s collegiate squash, providing countless women with the opportunity to experience the sport at a competitive level.

Ann was inducted into the CSA Hall of Fame in 1995 and the CSA continues to honor her legacy through the Ann Wetzel Award, presented annually to a senior woman who has shown the greatest level of improvement over their four-year career. She was also inducted into the Penn Athletic Hall of Fame in 1998 and the US Squash Hall of Fame in 2003.

Ann Wetzel’s impact on the sport of squash was profound, and her legacy will continue to inspire future generations.

Ann Wetzel’s obituary can be found by clicking here.

University of Pennsylvania’s post about Ann’s passing can be found by clicking here.