John M. Barnaby 11 '32 will become the first coach to receive a Harvard Medal, when President Bok presents the award to three alumni today.
The Harvard Medal recipients are selected by the Harvard Alumni Association for service to the Harvard community--service in teaching, leadership, generosity, and now in coaching.
Barnaby, who has been involved with the Harvard racquet sports for more than 40 years, established Crimson dynasties in squash and tennis.
With "Old Pop Barnaby" at the helm, the Harvard men's squash team pulled in 20 national intercollegiate team titles, while the men's tennis team piled on numerous New England and Eastern intercollegiate tennis crowns.
Barnaby's impressive showing in the win column is not the sole basis for the respect he enjoys. Many have noted that his care for the game and its players, have made him an outstanding coach.
"The development of the potential of our most talented youth," Barnaby says, "is perhaps unexcelled in importance to the future of humanity."
The dynastic force behind men's racquet sports returned from three years of retirement in 1979 to help coach woman's squash--and has maintained both a winning tradition and a commitment to excellence with his new charges.
He may even have started another dynasty. In 1982, the wome a won their first-ever national intercollegiate team title, defeating a favored Princeton team that had captured eight of the previous nine championships.
This year, the squash team continued its success by clinching the Ivy League title and another National Intercollegiate championship.
Barnaby's teams' sucess is not coincidental. His concern for excellence and determination of his players feeds the team's desire. "The inspiration just comes from being in his presence," said Co-Captain Mary Hulbert '84. "You know what his values are and you want to live up to them."