Jan. 14, 2011
STANFORD, Calif. -
United States squash icon and current Stanford women's head coach Mark Talbott will be honored at the sixth annual World Squash Awards, Thursday, January 20,
2011 at a gala dinner at the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions venue in Grand Central Terminal in New York City.
Talbott, who dominated North American Squash with a 12-year reign as the hemisphere¹s #1 ranked player, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. Frank Stella will receive a Special Services to Squash Award for his role in promoting the professional squash tournament circuit in the 1980s and spearheading the conversion of hardball singles to softball squash, paving the way for the current squash boom in the U.S.
³It is especially fitting that Mark and Frank are both being recognized as each played a significant role in the sport¹s explosion in popularity here in the United States in the 1980s," said J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions director John Nimick, who is co-hosting the gala dinner, presented by Lexington Partners, with the World Squash Awards director and three time Tournament of Champions titleholder Peter Nicol.
"Having had the opportunity to compete against Mark in our professional playing days, and to have played in tournaments that Frank promoted, I am especially delighted that we will be able to honor them on the eve of the Tournament of Champions, North America¹s greatest squash championship."
A 2000 U.S. Squash Hall of Fame Inductee, Talbott won 70 percent of the tournaments he entered during his illustrious playing career. A World Hardball Champion and American Softball Champion, Talbott was the World Professional Squash Association Player of the Year (1983, '86, '87, '88, '89, '90, '91, '92) eight times. Talbott¹s winning ways, easygoing demeanor and sometimes unconventional lifestyle, including living for a time in a squash court attached to a trailer, attracted attention to the sport. He was featured in numerous magazines during his illustrious playing career, among them Gentlemen¹s Quarterly, New Yorker, Esquire and twice in Sports Illustrated.
At the conclusion of his playing career, Talbott turned his attention to coaching, creating one of the first junior squash academies in the US, the Talbott Squash Academy which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.
Mark coached the Yale University women¹s team to an undefeated season in 2003-2004, and then became Director of Squash at Stanford University. Under Mark¹s leadership, the women's squash program, in 2006, became the first varsity squash program on the west coast.
Renowned for his large, nonrepresentational canvases, Frank Stella was the leading exponent of minimalist painting in the early '60s. He took up squash in 1980, and became so intrigued by the sport that he took an active role in its promotion. He began by applying his artistic talent to a poster design for the 1985 U.S. Professional Softball Squash Championships. A year later, Stella became a full-fledged promoter when he became a major underwriter of the event, secured sponsors and designed the poster. In 2008, Stella created the men¹s and women¹s trophies for the Tournament of Champions titleholders in celebration of the event¹s 10 year anniversary in Grand Central Terminal.
The World Squash Awards were founded in 2005 by Eventis Sports Marketing and are endorsed annually by the World Squash Federation (WSF), the Professional Squash Association (PSA) and the Women's International Squash Players'
As well as embracing the PSA and WISPA Players of the Year, in acknowledgement of the North American location, the awards this year will also honor the top new player & doubles team from the ISDA, the American hardball doubles tour.
Among the favorites for this year¹s PSA Male Player of the Year will be world No. 2 Ramy Ashour & PSA World Open champion and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Nick Matthew, while Malaysia¹s World Champion & World No1 Nicol David looks like a favorite to maintain her stranglehold on the women¹s award.
Tickets for the World Squash Awards dinner can be purchased at www.tocsquash.com.