John M. Barnaby II


Without question the greatest collegiate teacher of squash of the twentieth century, Jack Barnaby left a legacy of national championships and champions at Harvard that will surely never be equaled. Harvard class of 1932 and number two on Harvard’s national championship team his senior year, he was the Harvard tennis coach and assistant squash coach when legendary men’s squash coach Harry Cowles abruptly resigned in midseason in 1937. When Barnaby retired in 1976 after thirty-six seasons he was the winningest coach in Harvard history, with a record of 349-95, sixteen Ivy League titles and seventeen national titles. A list of his Cantabrigians intercollegiate champions is a list of legends: Germain Glidden, Kim Canavarro, Henry Foster, Charlie Ufford, Ben Heckscher, Victor Niederhoffer, Anil Nayer, Larry Terrell and Peter Briggs. He came out of retirement to coach the Harvard women’s team from 1979-82, leading them to two Howe Cups and a 28-4 record. (He also coached the Harvard men’s tennis team for thirty-seven years, compiling a 371-158-3 record and fourteen New England titles). Author of numerous articles and books on squash and tennis, Barnaby published in 1979 Winning Squash Racquets, considered to be the final word on hardball squash; and for many years he contributed a bi-monthly column in Squash News of sparkling remi¬niscences on squash history. In 1971 he was awarded the President’s Cup, the game’s highest award. With his deep sensitivity to individual temperaments and style, his commanding gentleness and wisdom and his loyalty to the college game, Jack Barnaby did more than perhaps anyone else to proselytize squash among young people.