ACADEMIC INTEGRATION COMPETITIVE EXCELLENCE

IN DIVISION I ATHLETICS

 
Mike Way
Mike Way
Title: Gregory Lee '87 and Russell Ball '88 Endowed Coach for Squash at Harvard University
Phone: (617) 495-4851
Experience: Fourth Season

Way, a professional coach for more than 25 years and one of the best teachers of the game in the world, was hired as Harvard's Gregory Lee ’87 and Russell Ball ’88 Endowed Coach for Squash at Harvard University on Aug. 9, 2010.

He followed up his championship performance in 2011-12 by leading the men and women to a pair of titles in his third year at the helm. Way guided the women to their second straight Howe Cup, knocking off Stanford (9-0), Penn (6-3) and Trinity (5-4) en route to a 15-1 overall mark. On the men's side, the Crimson earned a share of the Ivy League title for the first time since 2006 with a dramatic win over Yale on the last day of the regular season. The men went on to place second at the national championship, falling just short in the title bout to Trinity, to record its highest finish since 2004-05. 

The individual success also continued for those under Way's tutelage as Amanda Sobhy recording her second straight undefeated season. The sophomore topped Trinity's Kanzy El-Defrawy, 3-0, for the third time in less than a month to keep the Ramsay Cup in Cambridge and earn her second straight Ivy League Player of the Year honor. Ali Farag was also honored as the Ivy League Player of the Year, finishing the season 16-2 after falling in the semifinals of the individual national championships.

In just his second season in Cambridge, Way earned his first national title as he led the women's team to an undefeated season (17-0). The Crimson rolled to the Howe Cup championship match with 9-0 sweeps over No. 8 Dartmouth and No. 5 Trinity before beating rival Yale, 8-1, for the title. The men's team also had one of its highest finishes in recent years as the Crimson earned third place at the CSA National Team Championship.

Harvard players also earned both the men's and women's individual national championships in 2011-12. Amanda Sobhy completed an undefeated  season (15-0) with a 3-0 win over Yale's No. 1 and defending champion, Millie Tomlinson, in the individual championship match. Ali Farag also finished the season with an unblemished record (16-0) on his way to the CSA Men's Individual Championship title.

In his first season at the helm of the Crimson, Way led the women's team to an 11-2 record and the men's squad to a 9-6 mark. The women's team finished the season with a 5-1 conference record and as the national runner-up. The men's team completed the 2011 season with an even 3-3 conference mark and downed Cornell in the consolation final at the CSA National Team Championship to finish the season ranked No. 5 nationally.

Way has coached several players of the Professional Squash Association and Women’s International Squash Players Association, including world champion and seven-time Canadian champion Jonathan Power, as well as Australian world champion Sarah Fitzgerald.  In addition, Way guided Graham Ryding to three Canadian titles, Shahier Razik to four Canadian championships and Marine Baizley and Melanie Jans to six Canadian national titles between them.  He has also been a frequent guest speaker at coaching conferences held by the World Squash Federation and both the Canadian and U.S. Squash Associations.

“We are thrilled to introduce Coach Way as the new director of squash at Harvard,” Scalise said.  “Mike is one of the world’s best coaches and teachers and will be a true leader of our squash programs.  We could not be more excited about the future of squash here at Harvard.”

“I am delighted and honored to have been offered the position of director of squash at Harvard,” Way said.  “I have coached a number of young men and women over the years who have gone on to compete at the varsity level.  This opportunity will enable me to play an important role beyond those junior years. I am also excited to be part of the broader and dynamic community that makes up the college squash scene.”

Way was the driving force behind the National Squash Training Center for Canada, training most of the countrys national team. The center was based at the Toronto Racquet Club for many years before his protege, J Power, took over the reigns. During that time he was an integral figure in developing players to over 100 national titles. Way has coached some of the most successful US college squash players over the last 10 years from the under 13 level upwards, including  Harvard’s Laura Gemmell, the 2010 CSA national champion and Ivy League Player and Rookie of the Year. From 1991-97, Way was the head coach professional at the Toronto Athletic Club, developing a strategy for the eventual creation of the national training center, while still training elite athletes.

A native of England, his formative squash years were in Nottingham where he won a state championship, and helped his team reach the finals of the national championships. After moving to Canada in 1981, he worked his way on to the national squad and helped the Canadian team win the Pan American squash championships in 1985.

"My real strength in the sport of squash has clearly been from the coaching perpsective. I have been a sponge for everything and anything in order to be more effective," said Way. "I pride myself on taking pains to really understand the needs and personality of the individual, and my passion for squash is maintained through teaching and the fact that I'm still learning!"