The Buffalo Tennis & Squash Club has had a long list of outstanding head squash pros. These have included the legendary Monte Halvorsen, Al Molloy (who went on to coach the University of Pennsylvania’s squash team), Rick Infanti, Bart Chambers, Tom Hayes, John Rooney and Scott Denn.
The new head squash pro is Jamie Crombie. His overall accomplishments and reputation as a teaching pro and tournament player have practically ensured that he is destined to be recognized as one of the most accomplished squash pros in the long history of the prestigious club.
From the time Crombie was 2 years old until he was 10, he and his family lived in Stowe, Vt., before moving to Calgary.
When he was 12, Crombie started to play badminton and squash. Not long after, it was evident that he was going be a great player.
He went on to star for four years at the University of Western Ontario, playing first singles all four years. After college he went on to an outstanding professional squash career.
As a teaching pro he has worked with students from Cornell, Dartmouth, Brown, Georgetown and Stanford, among many others.
As a player, Crombie’s accomplishments are legendary:
• No. 1-ranked Canadian player (February 1994).
• No. 1-ranked American player (January 2005).
• Highest world ranking – 32.
• Reaching the quarterfinals of the National Canadian Singles Championships 23 straight years.
• Winning 19 Professional Squash Association Championships from 1989-2003.
At 5-foot-9 and 160 pounds, Crombie is in incredible physical shape. Although playing squash and working out were instrumental in his overall fitness program, he was also an outstanding durathon athlete.
A durathon is composed of three sets of athletic activity, with two main parts. The first part consists of running, followed by cycling, and then returning to running. The distance of each activity varies according to the caliber of the competition.
A few months ago, Scott Denn, the head squash pro at the T & S club, called the squash chairman, David Steffan, to tell him that he was leaving to pursue other ventures. They had to find a new head pro as soon as possible.
Word was sent to various squash venues and Crombie’s resume stood out from all of the rest. Some of the club’s key members, such as Steffan and Richard Lynn, the club’s president, invited Crombie for dinner. They also watched him teach a few members. They were impressed with his teaching, his personality and his overall demeanor.
Lynn said, “When I talked to Jamie I quickly noticed his ability to relate almost immediately to some of our members that he taught. He also submitted a proposal that not only showed a phenomenal playing and teaching background, but a strong program for nutrition and conditioning for his students.”
Denise Franklin, the new general manager, has observed Crombie closely.
“Words can’t express how impressed I am with Jamie. He is a gentleman on and off the court. I have heard nothing but glowing reports about his teaching ability. We are extremely fortunate to have such a great professional teaching squash at our club.”
Crombie said, “When I was informed that I would be getting the head pro squash position at the Tennis & Squash Club, I felt it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. The atmosphere is outstanding. Everyone, both adults and teenagers, take the game seriously. However, you can tell how much they enjoy playing the game.”
Crombie has already made a a great impact on squash at the club. He enjoys teaching players of all levels and tries to work on the mental part of the game as well as the physical. He is especially impressed with Maureen Foley, who is ranked 13th in the country in the Girl’s 15 & Under division and is practicing with local high school boys.
Lynn and Steffan both agreed that the club is thrilled to have Crombie as their new head squash pro and expect to see great improvement in players at all levels at the T & S.