California Squash Legend Alan Fox Dies

Alan L. Fox died on April 4, just one day shy of his eighty-second birthday.

One of the most vital leaders in the game, Alan Fox was arguably as central as anyone to uniting the entire country and creating one national squash community. He attended Andover and Stanford but only took up squash in earnest while getting his law degree from Cal Berkeley in the late 1960s.

He practiced law in Boise and San Francisco before moving to Los Angeles. Fox became a dynamic leader in squash, locally in southern California, regionally with the Pacific Coast district association, nationally with US Squash and internationally with the World Squash Federation. Most importantly, he brought the nation together at a time when squash in the West was almost entirely separate from the East. Fox healed divisions and knitted communities together.

He served as president of the Pacific Coast. He ran the 1987 National Singles in Los Angeles, the first time the event had come to southern California. He chaired US Squash’s endowment fund and the nominating committee. He served on the Olympics committee and the international affairs committee, playing a key role in ushering squash into the Pan American Games and into the USOPC; Fox traveled to dozens of countries on squash business. He was on the long-range planning committee, the referee and rules committee, the ranking committee and the U.S. Squash Hall of Fame committee. He served as vice president form 1990-93. For all his years of volunteer work, Fox was awarded the President’s Cup, US Squash’s highest individual award, in 1992.

He was chair of the board of US Squash from 1993 to 1995, just the second West Coast chair since the association was founded in 1904. His tenure was perhaps the most tumultuous two-year period in the history of squash in the United States. He managed the complicated transition from hardball to softball; promoted Team USA’s efforts internationally (during his tenure U.S. women finished eighth at the World Teams, by far the best finish up to that time). He helped start both the referee and coaching certification programs, core parts of US Squash today. And he hosted the largest ever National Singles, in San Francisco in 1993, where 628 players entered.