Coach’s Corner: Mr. Bobby Burns ’08

Mr. Bobby Burns ’08 returned to the school to serve as the first squash director. He works closely with all divisions of the program, with an emphasis on Boys Varsity. Captain Will Burke ’22 said: “Coach Burns has taken us from a successful boarding school program to a nationally regarded powerhouse. Every match on our schedule is now a must win. There is no ceiling for our team.” 

Tell us a little about yourself!

After graduating from Hotchkiss in ’08, I went to Bates College, before becoming a squash pro in the greater NYC area. Now I live in Greenwich with my wife, daughter, and dog Huckleberry. You can find Huck at the courts most afternoons. When I’m not coaching squash, I enjoy hiking and generally being outdoors. I will play any game under the sun.

How has the Boy’s Varsity Squash team been preparing for this season?

Fitness, fitness, with a side of fitness. We had a fall program which has really set us up for success. We are stronger on and off the court as a result. I think the squad would tell you they are as close as they ever were going into the year.

How has the Boy’s Squash team worked to develop young players?

We carry 10 players on the roster even though only the top 7 start. I would venture that most teams don’t do this, but I think it is important to have our younger players practice with the upperclassmen. 

Furthermore, I am hands-on with the Junior Varsity team. While the varsity team is quite strong, I venture that our program as a whole is as deep as it’s ever been and that contributes a lot to our long-term success.

As the Squash director, where do you envision the squash program as a whole headed? Will there be more interactions between different teams? How will the program differ from years past?

Our goal is to win a national championship. A few adjustments that differ from our last season in 2019 are that the Boys and Girls Varsity teams practice together every day. We’ve also taken more trips off-campus, like to New York and Philadelphia, that keep our team engaged with squash beyond our high school league.

Moreover, we have been actively recruiting the top players at US Squash tournaments. This is easy as we have traveled to US Squash tournaments with our players to support them and bring the team element to US Squash.

What are your expectations for the team this year?

Top 5 finish at Nationals.