Squash was a club sport in the 1960s without official recognition by the University. In fact, the plan for the new athletic complex in 1967-68 dropped squash courts from the plan. The courts were reinstated after the Squash Club gathered 2,000 signatures on a petition. Squash had been played informally in the 1930s, when teams played in a league composed of the University Club, the Hope Club, and the Agawam Hunt Club, which was later joined by a team of doctors from Rhode Island Hospital. Two Brown teams were members of the Rhode Island Squash Association League in the 1950s. In 1962-63 Harvard’s freshman coach gave instruction at Brown, and a club tournament was held. The next year the Squash Club, with over fifty faculty, graduate, and undergraduate members, organized an intramural league, and the Club also competed with Amherst, Harvard, and Yale.
Student Greg “Spike” Gonzalez ’69 did much to popularize the sport. In 1969 the club had 120 members and Gonzales was ranked eighth in the nation by the Intercollegiate Squash Racquets Association. After a lapse, squash was reinstituted in 1984 as a “club-varsity” sport. Varsity competition began in 1989, with Ivy League competition scheduled for 1990. In 1991 the men’s squash team was ranked thirteenth in the nation. Stuart LeGassick, who has coached the team since 1989 has a three-year record of 28-30 overall and 2-15 in the Ivy League.
Women students coached by Jan Lutz played squash in Marvel Gym in the early 1970s and had games with teams from the Pawtucket and Cranston YMCA’s. In 1976 a group of women students, some of whom had played tennis, made up a squash team coached by Karen Melucci. After three months of practice the team bravely entered the Howe Cup tournament and not unexpectedly finished tenth out of ten competitors. By 1977 Brown’s four top women players went to the National Intercollegiate Squash Championships. The next year the team finished seventh of 24 entries in the Championships. Karen Melucci coached until 1979, and was followed by Peter Wood in 1979-80, and Paul Moses from 1980 to 1985. The best years for women’s squash were 1980-81 (7-4), 1981-82 (7-4), and 1986-87 (8-2). The team finished fourth in the Howe Cup Tournament in 1986 and was sixth in the nation in 1991. Coach Norma Taylor’s record from 1985 to 1989 was 37-18; Stuart LeGassick’s from 1989 to 1992 was 12-17 overall and 5-8 in the Ivy League. Sue Cutler ’88 was a four-time All-Ivy team choice from 1985 to 1988.