John Illig

Men's & Women's Squash Coach

Phone: work802.443.3458
Alma Mater: Univ. of Rochester '86
Years at Midd: 8
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In 23 years of coaching, Illig has amassed 618 career wins (544 in squash; 74 in tennis), putting him among the most winning squash coaches in intercollegiate history. He has a combined mark of 209-121 during his seven seasons at Middlebury, previously earning a 266-157 mark during 11 years at Bates. Prior to that, he spent five years at Colby (143-141).

Currently President of the Men’s College Squash Association for 2012-2014, Illig has also served as President of the Women’s College Squash Association (’01-‘03). During that time, he helped to implement gender-equity by instating alternating weekends for the national team tournaments, naming the brackets at team nationals, increasing communication between the men’s and women’s executive committees and working with the men’s league to rename the organizations to their present iteration as the College Squash Associations. 

In his career, Illig has coached three All-Americans and two Ann Wetzel Award winners, while his teams have won national team awards such as men’s Sportsmanship (’03, ’09, ’11), women’s Sportsmanship (Clarence Chaffee, ’00), men’s Most Improved Team (’95) and women’s Most Improved Team (’12). 

Illig was the NESCAC Coach of the Year (’09) and was named Development Coach of the Year for the US Olympic Committee (’00).  His former players have gone on to serve as head coaches at Princeton, Columbia and Wesleyan, and have worked at CitySquash and Squashbusters. 

As an athlete, Illig has raced marathons, triathlons and ultra-marathons, and has hiked the Appalachian Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail, and the Continental Divide Trail.  Illig has written three books:  Man in the Middle, Pacific Dream, and Trail Ways, Path Wise  (all are available on Amazon.com).  He played varsity squash and tennis in college, graduating from the University of Rochester in ’86.