Director of Athletics Erin Quinn announced today the hiring of John Illig as the head coach of the men's and women's squash programs at Middlebury. Illig comes to Middlebury from Bates College, where he has served as the head coach of both programs for the last 11 years.
"John brings a wealth of collegiate squash coaching experience and success to Middlebury," said Quinn. "Additionally, he brings an enthusiasm for the sport that will be felt immediately by his players as well as the recreational squash enthusiast."
Illig takes over the women's squash program from current women's tennis coach Mike Morgan, while he will become the first varsity coach of men's squash at Middlebury. Current men's tennis coach Dave Schwarz served as the men's coach for five years during its club status.
"It's my greatest honor to serve as head men's and women's squash coach at Middlebury College," said Illig. "The potential for more success with the Middlebury teams is unlimited, and the opportunity is especially intriguing for me to step in as head coach for the first year of varsity status for the men."
"I'm inheriting two strong teams, thanks to the leadership and expertise of David Saward and Coach Morgan for the women's teams through the past several decades, and thanks to the terrific job that Coach Schwarz did with the men in their former status as a respected club team," added Illig.
Illig is a 16-year veteran when it comes to coaching collegiate squash. Prior to his 11 years as Bates, he worked as the head coach at Colby for the previous five seasons. He coached men's and women's squash and tennis at Colby, while coaching women's tennis at Bates for five seasons. He has amassed 408 career intercollegiate racquet wins, sporting a 335-244 record in squash.
In his time at Bates, Illig helped both squads move into the top nine in the national rankings. He also coached three players to six All-American awards. In '06-'07, his men's team at Bates went 20-9, while the women sported a 19-8 mark. Both squads finished first in Maine and third in the NESCAC.
Illig was named the U.S. Olympic Developmental Squash Coach of the Year in 2000, coached two Ann Wetzel Award Winners and won the Clarence Chaffee Award, given to the coach whose team best displays qualities of competitiveness and court demeanor. He also served as the President of the Women's College Squash Association from 2000-2002.
A native of Rochester, N.Y., Illig is a 1986 graduate of the University of Rochester, earning his degree in English literature. Illig is an avid outdoorsman, hiking the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail and the Long Trail.
"My aim is to attract top ranked American and international players to Middlebury, and I will work hard to provide an exceptional experience for my teams," said Illig. "I had a wonderful experience at Bates College, and now I'm very much looking forward to my relationship with Middlebury."