The United States Squash Hall of Fame proudly announces the class of 2016: Paul D. Assaiante, Norman B. Bramall and Jane Austin Stauffer. The first two are arguably the greatest squash coaches ever of men and women and Stauffer was one of the finest doubles players in history. The ceremony will be at noon on Friday, October 14, 2016 at Drexel during the Delaware Investments United States Open. Register for the induction ceremony here.
Paul Assaiante, the Ganek Family US Squash Head National Coach, began coaching forty years ago at West Point Military Academy. After nine years there, two years at Williams and brief stints as a teaching pro, Assaiante came to Trinity in 1994. Since then he has led the Bantams to fifteen national intercollegiate teams titles, putting him just two shy of the all-time collegiate record of seventeen set by Hall of Famer Jack Barnaby at Harvard. At one point, Assaiante’s teams captured 252 consecutive matches, a win streak unmatched by any collegiate sports team in U.S. history. His record at Trinity alone (403-21) speaks to his extraordinary will for excellence and his family coaching tree—more than two dozen of his former players now work as teaching professionals and coaches—speaks to his emphasis on mentoring and leadership. Since 1997 he has been the national coach for Team USA, leading the U.S. into over a dozen international team competition including three Pan American Games. Assaiante is the author of two books, including Run to the Roar: Coaching to Overcome Fear, which is being turned into a major motion picture.
Norm Bramall was a teaching professional at Cynwyd Club outside Philadelphia from 1942 to 1984 (as well as the men’s tennis coach at Haverford College form 1938 to 1982). He coached six different women—Jane Austin Stauffer, Lois Dilks, Margaret Varner Bloss, Ann Wetzel, Joyce Davenport and Carol Thesieres—to a national singles title, an unprecedented achievement in U.S. squash, especially considering most of them had never played squash before he introduced the game to them. Four are now in the Hall of Fame. Throughout his forty-two year coaching career, he mentored hundreds of other players, many of whom became champions in singles and doubles. One, Vic Seixas, won masters titles, as well as the U.S. and Wimbledon titles in tennis. Along with Bloss, Bramall authored a book on the game of squash. Norm Bramall died in April 1990.
Jane Stauffer won one national singles, six national doubles and six national mixed doubles titles. She captured her first national doubles title in 1950 and her last in 1978, a twenty-eight year gap which no other player has replicated. Moreover she won the titles with five different partners, a record matched only by Hall of Famer Diehl Mateer. Early last week Stauffer sadly passed away at the age of eighty-nine, only a few days after she had been informed that she was going to receive the ultimate honor in the game with induction this fall in the Hall of Fame.
The U.S. Squash Hall of Fame was founded in 2000. Based at Payne Whitney Gymnasium at Yale, it is the only national squash hall of fame in the world with annual inductions and a bricks-and-mortar location. With the additions of Assaiante, Bramall and Stauffer, there will be fifty-eight members of the U.S. Squash Hall of Fame.