FEATURE: BOB CALLAHAN
Bob Callahan, who guided the Princeton men's squash to 314 victories, 11 Ivy League titles and three national championships (1982, 1993, 2012) as head coach for 32 years, will be inducted into the Men’s College Squash Association Hall of Fame Saturday night in Philadelphia. In addition, Callahan will receive the MCSA’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Callahan, who retired following the 2013 Ivy League championship season, was inducted into the U.S. Squash Fall of Fame in 2012. He coached the individual national champion 10 times, including the 2011 championship by Todd Harrity, the 2013 Ivy League Co-Player of the Year.
Callahan was also a highly successful player at Princeton; he played on three national title teams, including his senior year when he captained the Tigers to an undefeated season (1976-77). A two-time All America, he was ranked fifth in the intercollegiates during his senior season.
In a coaching career that spans 314 victories, none drew as much attention as the 5-4 victory over Trinity in the 2012 national championship match. The win, held in front of a enthusiastic, capacity crowd at Jadwin, ended Trinity’s 13-year reign as national champion.
In his final season, Callahan took a team that graduated four seniors from the 2012 national champion and still managed to win its third straight Ivy League title. It was Princeton’s ninth league crown in the last 14 seasons, and the 11th in Callahan’s Hall of Fame career.
He took over the coaching duties in 1981, and shortly afterwards, Callahan founded the nation's first major squash camp in 1982; he has run it continuously ever since. In 1998 he directed the World Junior Men's Championships at Princeton, the first time the U.S. had ever hosted a world singles championship. That event, while an incredible success at the time, would ultimately help him land a young player now considered the greatest collegiate male squash player ever.
Yasser El Halaby became the first male player to win all four individual championships (2003-06), and he helped Princeton to two of the eight Ivy League titles won by Princeton over the last 13 years.
Callahan will be the first MCSA coach inducted since 2005 (Robert Hawthorn, Fordham University) and the first Lifetime Achievement Award winner since 2007 (Tom Rumpler).
All college squash players, coaches, and fans are invited to attend the presentation on Saturday night at 8 pm in the atrium lobby of the Drexel University’s Daskalakis Athletic Center (3315 Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19104).