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Monday, Apr 22, 2024

Women’s squash coach Mark Lewis named NESCAC Coach of the Year

Mark Lewis won the NESCAC Coach of the Year Award for the third time in his career.
Mark Lewis won the NESCAC Coach of the Year Award for the third time in his career.

After leading the Middlebury women’s squash team to their highest winning season since 2015 and to the NESCAC tournament and Kurtz Cup Semifinals, Head Coach Mark Lewis was voted the NESCAC Coach of the Year by his league peers. Lewis was given the honor on March 5, marking the third time he has won the award after receiving it in 2017 and 2020 as well. 

The Panthers’ success this season was driven by the program’s two guiding principles — passion and curiosity, according to Lewis. He worked hard to instill these values in each player through his hands-on leadership approach.

“As a coach, they have to see me doing stuff for them,” Lewis said. “If they can see that, and see me doing that in a way that's responsible and emotionally connected, it's a way for the program to give permission to each person to go, oh yeah, I want to serve this team.” 

Lewis’ impact on his team extends far beyond the squash court. Lindsey Burnham ’26 commended his unwavering support, and attributed the team’s exemplary performance to the trust that they share with their coach. 

“Having someone who I know is in my corner is really nice, and I think the whole team feels that way,” Burnham said. “They can go to [Lewis] for anything, and that built-in trust has allowed us to really grow as a team, and our results really show that in the grouping and the rankings every year.” 

This year marks Lewis’ ninth year at Middlebury College, where he not only serves as the head coach of the men’s and women’s squash teams, but also as the director of intramural sports. During his tenure at Middlebury, Lewis has led the women’s team to an 86–66 record, and looks to be on track to reach 100 wins next year. He has also led the men’s team to an 85–71 record over the same time period. 

Lewis described the award as a nice surprise and affirmation to receive from his NESCAC colleagues. “It’s a humble reminder that you’re doing okay here, keep going,” he added.