Princeton, NJ — Chances are, most college players today don’t know who recent Women’s Hall of Fame inductee Jon Oxman is. His name hasn’t been in the college squash record books, and he didn’t play in college — at least not officially.
“I was a member of the Tufts tennis team and we were not supposed to play squash. So I did,” says Oxman with his characteristic good humor. He liked the game but didn’t play for years, picking up the sport again twenty years ago.
Though Oxman remains an avid player with a wicked drop shot, his contributions to the college game have come off the court.
Oxman first became involved with the College Squash Association when Herb Bunker was coach at Bates, where Oxman plays. “I helped out with the Howe Cup and rooted for Bates,” Oxman explains.
Oxman’s involvement with the organization increased just over ten years ago, when then-Bates head coach John Illig was president of the Women’s College Squash Association.
For decades, varsity coaches ran the College Squash Association, handling the numerous administrative tasks that go into running an intercollegiate athletic league. As the size of the league and the championship tournaments have increased, however, it has become more and more difficult for coaches to coordinate all the administrative details while working with their teams full time. As a result, the CSA has been moving towards professionalization.
Illig asked Oxman, a managing partner at Linnell, Choate and Webber in Auburn, Maine, to help with this process. Oxman worked on formalizing the organizational structure of the Women’s College Squash Association and advising on legal matters.
Since then, Oxman has volunteered his time as a legal consultant for the Women’s CSA. He has reviewed contracts, helped with updates to the bylaws, and offered advice and counsel on a range of legal matters. Each year, he travels from Maine to the Women’s National Team Championships to attend the annual coaches’ meeting — and cheer on the players.
“Jon’s contribution has exceeded all expectations the women’s CSA Executive Committee ever imagined,” says Women’s College Squash Association president and Princeton head coach Gail Ramsay. “His help in developing the Association’s structure has been a key factor in our growth and professionalism.”
After earning his B.A. from Tufts, Oxman earned his J.D. from Boston College, where he was elected to the Order of the Coif. He has practiced in Maine since the early 1970s and has been involved in lawyer governance in multiple ways for many years. A fellow of the Maine Bar Foundation and a member of the Fee Arbitration Commission, he is also a former chair of the Maine Bar Grievance Commission, the Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar, and the Board of Trustees of the Maine Client Protection Fund.
The CSA is just one of many organizations that has benefited from Oxman’s generosity in sharing his time and expertise. He has continued to be involved with Tufts, serving as the regional chair of the Tufts University Alumni Admissions Program and as a member of the National Alumni Council of Tufts. Oxman has long been involved with his community, and as a strong believer in the value of undergraduate engagement in the community, he is a member of the board of the Maine Campus Compact and a member of the University of Southern Maine Foundation board of directors.
“He has been beyond generous with his professional skills to the organization but what is even more special is that his does this for the benefit of the female student athlete,” says Shona Kerr, Wesleyan head coach and a former women’s CSA president. “Jon’s work has spanned various women’s CSA presidents and committees and with this service he carries history and continuity to the Association.”
“I hope the relationship may continue for a very long time,” Kerr continues. “Jon is like family to the Women’s CSA and despite being a busy professional always seems to make time for us answering his phone with the familiar and jolly ‘Oxman here!'”
“He is truly passionate about the sport and we are so lucky to be on the receiving end of his way of giving back to the sport,” says Ramsay. “We appreciate the time he donates and the wisdom he shares with the WCSA.”
Induction into the Hall of Fame is an honor reserved for the top players, coaches, and friends of College Squash. Oxman is the first person to be inducted into the Women’s College Squash Hall of Fame since former Harvard coach Bill Doyle was inducted in 2007.