Richard Elliott was honored with the 2018 United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee Developmental Coach of the Year Award during semifinals night of the 2019 Oracle NetSuite Open Sunday, September 30, in San Francisco.
Elliott moved to California from England in 1995 to join the Bay Club Santa Clara as Head Squash Pro. By 2006 he had moved to Bay Club Redwood Shores where there were just six nationally ranked squash players, all of whom had been impacted by Elliott at some point in their development. One of those players is currently a co-captain at Princeton, another is working as a teaching professional in Philadelphia, and another works with Elliott as his current club, Squash Zone, in Redwood City.
Over the last twelve years, Elliott has been pivotal to the growth of junior squash in California. There are now more than 250 junior players ranked nationally and the region is considered as a national hotbed of the sport in the same breath as New York, Phildelphia and Connecticut. California juniors are now national champions, attend elite collegiate squash programs and represent Team USA.
In addition to his time coaching at Bay Club Santa Clara and Bay Club Redwood Shores, Elliott spent nearly a decade coaching at Stanford, which has developed into a top-ten nationally-ranked program.
Kim Clearkin, US Squash Vice President of Programs and Events and a former assistant pro to Elliott, presented him with the award.
“Richard’s passion and enthusiasm for the sport is contagious,” Clearkin said. “He truly cares about his players. He not only teaches them how to play squash, he also teaches them the values of integrity, honesty, fairness and sportsmanship, which are core values that we uphold at US Squash. To Richard, his players are his family and I see many of you in the crowd tonight.”
The USOPC Developmental Coach of the Year Award is given to a teaching professional who works directly with junior players of all abilities, helping develop outstanding lifelong players and members of the squash community.