Luke Butterworth and Charlie Johnson were honored with the US Squash nomination for the 2023 USOPC National Coach of the Year and Developmental Coach of the Year, respectively, during the US Squash Junior Awards Ceremony Saturday, March 18.
Butterworth and Johnson have both represented Team USA as coaching staff and lead two of the most successful coaching academies in the United States having produced numerous junior national champions.
A native of Huddersfield, England, the Greenwich, Connecticut-based Butterworth has led the Greenwich Academy squash program for the past nine years and has won seven consecutive High School Nationals titles and two Middle School Nationals titles. Butterworth founded the LB Squash academy in Greenwich for junior boys and girls players, which has produced numerous national champions including Caroline Fouts, Charlotte Pastel, Alex Dartnell and Carlton Capella at the 2023 Junior Nationals. Butterworth joined the U.S. National Team coaching pyramid first as a regional coach and Battle of the Border. In 2021, he was named the Head Junior Men’s National Coach and has coached Team USA at seven British Junior Opens and two World Junior Championships, including an all-time best performance at the 2023 British Junior Open that produced Team USA’s first boys champion Carlton Capella–an LB Squash player.
Since 1998, the USOC National Coach of the Year has honored the best coaches at the highest levels of the game.
“I am thankful to the parents, players, and colleagues past and present and I will never take for granted how fortunate I am to have the opportunity to go to work and motivate players both in the classroom, on the practice court or competing across the world,” Butterworth said. “I’m very passionate to continue to push Team USA to the top of the podium on the international level and would like to thank Rich Wade, Kim Clearkin, Scott Devoy, Alex Stait, Simba Muhwati, Ong Beng Hee, Kevin Klipstein and all the US Squash staff who work tirelessly to put on events and provide the platform for success for all our nation’s players. I’d also like to thank the amazing LBSquash coaching team, Jamie, Mo, Amr, Arturo, Omar and Santi for their own fire, energy and inspiration that they have given all our players over the years. I started my journey here in the U.S. fourteen years ago and have grown as a coach everyday along the way. I am eternally grateful to Andy Learoyd, Esteban Casarino and Steven Scharff for their trust in me and guiding me towards success.”
A native of Bishops Stortford, England, Johnson has been based in the San Francisco Bay Area for the past decade at Bay Club San Francisco and Bay Club Redwood Shores, the current home of the Charlie Johnson Squash Academy. The CJSA has served as the catalyst for producing a core of top-ranked junior players which for the first time resulted in California being the most represented state at Junior Nationals this year with fifty players. CJSA the most junior national champions from any west coast program including Avni Anand, Serena Daniel, Riya Navani and Zane Patel. Johnson has coached Team USA at five British Junior Opens and one Pan American Junior Championships.
“I’m extremely proud of what California Squash has done throughout the years,” Johnson said. “I’ve been there for ten years and it’s incredible where the game has gone in that time. We had a record fifty players from California in the draws this weekend, which is truly amazing. I’m really proud of the coaches and players in the Bay Area. I’d also like to thank my incredible team, Vanessa, Jack, Bransten, and Yash for the passion and dedication that they bring every day. There are so many world class coaches here in the U.S. who do their jobs because of their passion and that’s why I believe squash in the U.S. is moving in the right direction.”
The USOC Developmental Coach of the Year nominee is coach of a youth club, high school or junior-level coach, or a coach directly responsible for coaching athletes to the junior and/or elite level.
Watch Johnson and Butterworth’s full remarks at the Junior Awards Ceremony below: