Neil Pomphrey, a long-time assistant coach at Princeton University, was presented with the 2017 United States Olympic Committee Volunteer Coach of the Year Award on Thursday, March 28 in Princeton, New Jersey.
Pomphrey received the award surrounded by coaching colleagues and the Princeton men’s squash players during a ceremony held during the team’s annual end-of-season dinner. Dent Wilkens, US Squash Senior Vice President of Operations and a former Princeton player, presented Pomphrey with the award.
“Neil’s knowledge, humility and dedication have been an asset to the Princeton program and the squash community as a whole for years,” Wilkens said. “This award is a fitting recognition for his contributions which have often gone unheralded.”
Pomphrey just completed his twenty-seventh year as the assistant coach of Princeton Men’s Squash, first under U.S. Squash Hall of Fame coach Bob Callahan and now in his sixth season under head coach Sean Wilkinson. He is a volunteer assistant for the full squash program and an Academic-Athletic Fellow for the men’s team. Pomphrey also donated his expertise to the national squash community by developing and helping to maintain the ranking algorithm currently used by the College Squash Association (CSA) for both team and individual rankings.
Pomphrey is regarded as a skilled analyst of both technique and tactics and is known in college competition as an insightful match coach. A native of Scotland and a nationally-ranked squash player in the U.S., Pomphrey recently retired from his position as a Principal Research Physicist at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory.
The USOC Volunteer Coach of the Year is given out annually to a coach who exhibits the core squash values of service, support and fellowship without thought of recompense. The previous honoree was Robert Hensel, a founder and chair of the board of Beyond Walls, an urban squash program in Minnesota.