Annandale-on-Hudson, NY — Bard College announced yesterday that it is adding women’s squash as a varsity program for the 2017 – 2018 season.
Last season, the Bard women competed as a club team. Bard joins the University of Virginia in elevating its club program to varsity status for the upcoming season.
Craig Thorpe-Clark, the 2017 Liberty League men’s squash coach of the year, will coach the women’s team as well as continuing to coach the men’s varsity squash team.
According to Bard Athletic Director Kris Hall, “The time is right, and we have the right coach in place to make this happen. The nucleus of players returning have shown a commitment to hard work; their overall improvement and dedication will be the foundation of the new program.”
“This is a great step forward to Bard women’s squash,” said head coach Thorpe-Clark. “The athletic department and Bard as a whole has shown complete support.”
At the conclusion of the 2009 – 2010 season, the Liberty League stopped hosting a women’s conference tournament because there were only three member schools — St. Lawrence, Vassar, and William Smith — that sponsored women’s squash teams. Now with Bard women joining the varsity ranks, the Liberty League is set to recommence its women’s conference tournament and awards.
Since 1993, Bard becomes the eleventh school to add varsity squash: Haverford (1993 -1994), William Smith (1998 – 1999), St. Lawrence (1999 – 2000), George Washington (2002 – 2003), Stanford (2003 – 2004, added women’s team); Middlebury (2007 – 2008, added men’s team to an existing varsity women’s team), Columbia (2010 – 2011), Drexel (2011 – 2012), Dickinson (2014 – 2015), and Virginia (2017 – 2018).
With the addition of Bard, there are now 31 women’s and 34 men’s varsity intercollegiate squash teams.