Coach Jack Is Back


The sultan of squash is back.

John M. "Jack" Barnaby '32, coach of the men's squash and tennis teams for 36 years until his retirement in 1976, will return to Harvard to take the reigns of the women's squash team this season.

During his lengthy tenure as Crimson squash mentor, Barnaby compiled an unparalled 354-95 record, including 20 national team championships, ten 6-man championships, and 21 Ivy League titles.

Elyse Jacobs will assist Barnaby, handling the administrative chores. The tandem replaces last year's coaching duo of Paul Moses and Sukie MacGraw. After guiding the racquetwomen to an 11-2 record, Moses' two-year contract was not renewed.

Many squad members said at the end of last season that although Moses was a devoted coach, he was a poor teacher.


However, there can be no doubt about the teaching credentials of Moses' successor. Barnaby has authored what many call The Book on squash.

"I'm going to enjoy it," Barnaby said yesterday from his New Hampshire residence, speaking with a hint of the enthusiasm that made him such a durable coach.

"Squash coaches are pretty rare--they (the Department of Athletics) had a hard time filling that job," he added.

Several observers had criticized the sacking of Moses before a suitable replacement was found. Fortunately, it didn't take much to coax Barnaby out of retirement.

"I'm looking forward with great anticipation and pleasure to this part-time assignment. It's a very interesting challenge, and I see no reason why we shouldn't do well after a while."

How does Barnaby feel about coaching the racquetwomen after directing the men's squad for so many years?

"I see no reason why the women shouldn't have the teaching and the knowledge imparted to them," he said.

Part of Barnaby's task will be to groom Elyse Jacobs, an outstanding athlete with a previously limited exposure to squash. Jacobs attended Michigan University, graduating the same spring Barnaby retired.

Barnaby doesn't anticipate any problems. "I always said 'Give me an athlete, and I'll teach him the game.' But give me a fat slob..."

The racquetwomen had a good season last winter despite several setbacks. Top-ranked Sarah Mlezcko, one of Harvard's finest athletes, decided to take a rest from competitive sports. And later in the campaign, tragedy struck when freshman star Cynthia Stanton died in a plane crash.

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