Sports

Harvard’s National Championship-winning squash coach dismissed

By
Assistant Sports Editor
Thursday, April 15, 2010

Harvard announced Tuesday that it will not renew the contract of head men’s and women’s squash coach Satinder Bajwa for the 2010–11 season, ending his 11-year tenure.

The dismissal, which came less than two months after the Crimson captured the women’s team national championship and the men’s and women’s individual national titles, stunned and upset several players, the Harvard Crimson reported Tuesday.

“I think everyone’s still in the stage where they’re trying to understand it,” Laura Gemmell, who won the women’s individual national championship, told the Crimson. “Obviously people are sad, and they really respect Baj as a coach.”

The reasons for the dismissal remain unclear. “We have decided to go in a different direction with the leadership of the program,” said Director of Athletics Bob Scalise ’71 in a Tuesday press release.

The Crimson reported that after Scalise met with players Monday, several remained dissatisfied with his explanations and their lack of involvement in the process. Freshman Charles Gertler told the Crimson that Scalise cited “breaches from administrative protocol, an inability to be a ‘good community member at the athletics department,’ and recruiting deficiencies.”

Bajwa told the Crimson the accusations were “very vague.”

Alum and donor Albert Gordon told the Crimson that racism was a factor, alleging that large donors worked to end Bajwa’s tenure, but administrators denied the charges, and players the Crimson interviewed said they did not believe it.

In his 11 seasons at Harvard, Bajwa coached five individual champions and won two team national titles, as well as six women’s and five men’s Ivy League titles. But the men have declined from the glory years of eight-straight national titles in the 1990s to a pair of fifth-place finishes in the last two seasons — its worst showings in at least 20 years, according to the Crimson.

Harvard will begin a national search for Bajwa’s successor immediately, according to the press release.

Brewer ’00 and Mounsey ‘02.5 named to women’s ECAC Hockey All-Decade First Team
Goalie Ali Brewer ’00 and defenseman Tara Mounsey ‘02.5 were named to the ECAC Hockey All-Decade First Team, recalling the golden era of the women’s hockey program. Brown is one of only two schools, along with Harvard, to earn slots on the first team.

In 2000, Brewer became the only Brown player to win the Patty Kazmeier Award as the most outstanding player in women’s collegiate hockey. She holds school records for lowest goals-against average in a single season and a career, highest save percentage in a single season and a career, most shutouts in a single season and a career and most wins in a single season and a career. She stands second in career saves to former Herald Sports Staff Writer Nicole Stock ’08.

Mounsey, who stands 13th on Brown’s all-time scoring list with 48 goals and 70 assists in just 78 games, was named a second team All-American in 1999 and a first-team selection the following year and played in the 1998 and 2002 Olympic Games.

Harvard racked up six selections to the 12-player team, including four first-team members. St. Lawrence picked up three second-team selections and Dartmouth boasted one second-team pick.

Ivy quick hits
— Princeton fencers Evan Prochniak, Alex Simmons and Sinatrio Raharjo competed at the 2010 World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan. In the sabre, Prochniak took 16th individually and was a member of the American team that won the bronze medal. In the foil, Simmons placed 21st and his Canadian team finished 10th. In epee, Raharjo failed to win a bout while representing Indonesia as an individual.

— Cornell’s Rob Pannell was named the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Division I Player of the Week for scoring three goals, including the game-winner, and handing out five assists in a 13-12 victory over Harvard on Saturday.

— Yale’s Deb Gruen, a Paralympic swimmer who has set five world records, has been selected to the U.S. team that will compete at the IPC Swimming Worlds in Eindhoven, Netherlands, in August.