PHILADELPHIA - The University of Pennsylvania has announced the promotions of Jack Wyant to Director of Squash and Head Women’s Coach, and Gilly Lane to Head Men’s Coach. Wyant led the women’s team as it advanced to the College Squash Association (CSA) national title match in 2016 with Lane as his Associate Head Coach. The men finished fifth in at the CSA Team Championships, their highest finish since 2007.
“The Penn Squash programs have seen much success in recent seasons and we are excited to keep both programs moving in a positive direction,” said University of Pennsylvania Athletic Director M. Grace Calhoun. “Promoting Jack Wyant and Gilly Lane was an important step in that process. Jack Wyant has been a tremendous asset for many years while overseeing both the men’s and women’s programs. Retaining him as our Director of Squash and Head Women’s Coach ensures that we have an experienced leader guiding our student-athletes. Gilly Lane’s passion for and loyalty to Penn made him the ideal candidate for Head Men’s Coach. We believe that the men’s squash program will flourish under Gilly’s tutelage. It is an exciting time for Penn Squash.”
The 2009 US Squash National Coach of the Year, Wyant completed his sixth season as both the men’s and women’s head coach at Penn in February and will now assume the role as the school’s first-ever Director of Squash. Wyant will remain the head coach of the women’s program, which he has led since 2004-05. The Cincinnati native has recorded a 146-42 record at the helm of the Quaker women and has advanced to the CSA National Championship match three times.
“The Penn Squash program enjoyed a banner year, and I am privileged to continue in a leadership role with the program.” said Wyant. “Our goal is to work diligently to further enhance the development of our talented student-athletes and strive toward winning more championships for the Red & Blue.”
Wyant continued with praise for the new men’s head coach: “I’ve known Gilly since he was a sophomore at Penn, and he is the perfect coach to lead the men’s program. I look forward to working together for many more years.”
A four-time All-American, All-Ivy selection, and Team MVP as a player at Penn, Lane earns his second promotion in two years after being promoted to Associate Head Coach of the men’s and women’s programs ahead of the 2015-16 season. He has already built an impressive resume as a coach, guiding the United States men’s team at the Pan American Games in Toronto last year and winning the bronze medal. He has also been an assistant coach with the U.S. Junior Boys’ National Team. Lane will take control of a men’s program that just had its highest CSA finish since 2007, thanks in part to the program’s first win over Harvard since 1979, and brings back 13 of its 16 players.
As a player, Lane was the 2007 recipient of the CSA’s Skillman Award. The Skillman Award is given annually to a senior men’s squash player who has demonstrated outstanding sportsmanship during his entire college career. Candidates are evaluated for their on-court poise and demeanor; skill level and ability in the game of squash; team play; contributions to intercollegiate squash; leadership; and cooperation with players, coaches, and tournament officials. Lane is the only Penn player to receive this prestigious honor.
“I am extremely honored and excited to begin this next phase of my coaching career as the Head Men’s Coach,” said Lane. “This is a dream position for me as this program has been my second home since 2003. I want to thank Dr. Grace Calhoun, Jack Wyant, Matt Valenti, the Penn Squash board members, and alumni for putting their trust in me to lead an amazing group of talented student-athletes.”
Lane also took a moment to praise Wyant for his contributions to the men’s program: “I want to congratulate Jack on his promotion to Director, as he has done an incredible job in the past 12 years of bringing both programs to elite national levels. I have watched the men’s team move up the rankings from 14 to 5, and I look forward to continued success in the years to come.”
It was a monumental year for Penn squash with both teams earning the second spot in the country in the CSA rankings for most of the season and producing great performances at the CSA Team Championships. The men’s team defeated the No. 3 and 4 teams in the country on back-to-back days before winter break, vaulting into the top three. They capped off their season with an emphatic 7-2 win over Harvard at the CSA Team Championships. The women were dominant all year long, going 14-2 overall and winning 10 matches by 9-0 scores. The women’s only losses in 2015-16 came to No. 1 Harvard.