Last night at the 2018 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions, Kevin Klipstein gave the 2018 W. Stewart Brauns, Jr. Award to Michael Riley.
Klipstein, the president and CEO of US Squash, spoke warmly of Riley’s many contributions to squash. Klipstein was joined by Tournament of Champions director John Nimick for the on-court presentation in between the men’s semifinals matches.
Mike Riley, a native of Manchester, England, has been a dynamic leader in American squash for nearly forty years. He first picked up squash after high school in Sweden. After working as a court tennis pro in Manchester in the mid-1970s, he gave squash lessons, delivered mail for the Royal Mail and shoveled coal on the railways. In 1980 he came to the United States. After six years as a pro at the Tennis & Racquet Club in Boston and a three-year stint in North Carolina, Riley moved to Rhode Island in 1989.
After starting at Newport Squash, he has been a teaching pro at Rhode Island Country Club in Barrington. He has also been a squash coach at Barrington High School and Portsmouth Abbey School.
Riley’s largest contributions have been as a referee. For the past twenty-five iterations of the Tournament of Champions, dating back to 1992, Riley has adjudicated matches. He has served as the tournament referee at the Tournament of Champions and at many events around the U.S. and around the world. He is one of just nineteen World Squash Federation referees and one of just eleven WSF referee assesors and for both groups the only one based in the U.S. He and his wife Carol are the parents of four adult children.
The Brauns Award is given by the US Squash board to a person who has made major administrative, off-the-court contributions to the game of squash. It is named after a longtime dedicated leader of US Squash, Stew Brauns, who was a tournament director, head referee, committee chair and a founder of the World Squash Federation. US Squash has annually given out the Brauns Award since the 1980s. Previous winners include Jahangir Khan, Will Carlin, Beth Rasin, Danielle Maur, Treddy Ketcham, Larry Sconzo, Shabana Khan and last year’s winner Jim Hense.