SQUASH: Yale hires Lynn Leong as next head coach
Yale announced Leong, a former Bulldog associate and interim head coach, as the next director of squash on Friday. She replaces longtime leader Dave Talbott, who retired at the end of January.
Courtesy of Yale Athletics
Yale hired Lynn Leong to fill the role of director of squash, promoting her from the interim head coach position to a permanent position at the helm of the men’s and women’s squash programs, the Athletic Department announced on Friday.
Leong replaces former head coach Dave Talbott, who announced his retirement in January after 38 years at Yale. She joined Talbott’s staff as a senior assistant coach in 2017 before earning a promotion to associate head coach in 2019. Leong has served as the interim head coach since Feb. 1 of this year.
“In four years here, I have realized what a special place this is, and I cannot wait to build upon the already incredible Squash legacy at Yale,” Leong said in the press release. “We have a dedicated group of student-athletes and I cannot wait to have them back on the Brady courts and preparing to make strides towards our championship goals.”
Talbott, a 2019 College Squash Association Hall of Fame inductee, led his teams to a total of six national championships and eight Ivy League titles during his career at Yale.
After the announcement of his retirement, Leong expressed interest in replacing him. In a January phone call with the News, she said that it was “one of her ambitions” to become the Bulldogs’ head squash coach permanently. At the time, Talbott said he felt Leong was well-equipped to succeed him long-term but acknowledged that there would be “stiff competition” for the job.
Men’s squash player Patrick Feeley ’23 said he is proud to call Leong the program’s new head coach and that the team is “very excited” about her hiring.
“Lynn is filling big shoes, but she has been a fantastic coach since I arrived on campus,” Feeley said. “She is trustworthy, effective and an overall fantastic woman.
“Watch out, Harvard, Yale squash is coming for the title,” he added.
Leong has previously served as the Squash Director at the New Haven Lawn Club from 2007 to 2017. She also worked as an assistant coach for the United States junior women’s team, helping the team finish runner-up at the World Junior Championships in 2013 and 2015.
The Trinity College graduate began playing squash at the age of four, and by age 16 she had climbed as high as 40 in the world professional rankings. Leong was the 1996 Asian Women’s Champion and a finalist at the World Junior Championships in 1999. At Trinity, she was a three-time First Team All-American and twice a national team champion.
Leong, who moved from Malaysia to the United States in 1999, will be the first Asian American head coach in Yale squash’s history, as well as the first woman to coach the men’s squash team.
“I’m thrilled to have Lynn Leong as the director for our storied squash program,” Director of Athletics Vicky Chun said in the press release. “Lynn distinguished herself from an incredibly competitive and talented pool of candidates.”
Chun, who recently saw her contract as the Blue and White’s athletic director extended through June 2026, has made Leong her seventh head coaching hire across six sports. Among these, Leong is the third head coach to be promoted from within Yale, following fencing coach Haibin Wang and women’s soccer coach Sarah Martinez in 2019.
The Brady Squash Center houses 15 international singles courts and is located on the fourth floor of Payne Whitney Gymnasium.