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Mark Talbott
Position: Head Coach

Mark Talbott joined Stanford University in 2004 as the director of a newly established squash program. With his vision, experience, and dedication, the Stanford squash program has developed into a program with far-reaching goals including community outreach and junior player development programs in addition to fielding a highly competitive and successful intercollegiate program.

In 2015, Talbott guided the Cardinal to a berth in the Kurtz Cup. After wins over Drexel, Brown and Dartmouth, Stanford claimed the title and cemented itself as the ninth-ranked team in the country to end the season. 

In 2014 Cardinal repeated its finish from the year before as the team placed seventh at the Howe Cup. The team went 7-8 overall and beat Dartmouth, 6-3, in the seventh place match. Stanford was 7-1 against opponents ranked lower than them. Three Cardinal players qualified for the individual championships, including CC Ho, the first freshman since 2010 to do so for Stanford.

In 2013, Talbott led Stanford to a 7-7 overall record and seventh place finish at the Howe Cup. He was given the Chaffee Award, which is given annually to a coach whose team has demonstrated the qualities of sportsmanship, teamwork, character, and improvement.

Mark enjoyed an illustrious career as a professional. He was inducted into the Squash Hall of Fame in 2000, recognized for his unmatched tournament record during his 12-year reign as the No. 1 ranked professional in North America. He was the World Professional Squash Association Player of the Year eight times (1983, `86, `87, `88, `89, `90, `91, and `92) and an Olympic Athlete of the Year in 1991, `92, and `95. In addition, he captained the first USA Team to compete in the Pan Am Games in 1995, earned the Sharif Khan Award for Sportsmanship in 1991, and won the USSRA President’s Cup in 1989. Mark won 70 percent of the tournaments he entered, and was the World Hardball champion and American Softball champion.

His major titles, among more than 250 career tournament victories, include five North American Opens, six World Professional Championships, three Canadian Opens, two U.S. Opens, three Boston Opens, three S.L. Green Softball Nationals and a pair of North American Open Doubles titles. Mark was featured in numerous magazines during his illustrious playing career, among them Gentlemen’s Quarterly, New Yorker, Esquire and twice in Sports Illustrated. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2011 World Squash Awards.

In addition to competition, Mark is dedicated to developing the next generation of players. In 1991 he established the Talbott Squash Academy, one of the first National Training Centers for the U.S. Squash Association. The Academy has trained thousands of students during the summer in Newport, R.I., and at Stanford.

After retiring from competition in 1996, Mark was hired as the women’s squash coach at Yale where he led the Bulldogs to their first national championship in 18 years. He came to The Farm in 2004 as the director of the Stanford Squash Program and head coach of the Stanford men’s and women’s teams.

Mark believes in promoting the game and using it to positively impact the lives of young people, especially those from underserved communities. He has been involved with urban squash programs around the country for the past 15 years and founded Xtreme Squash in 2009, a non-profit urban squash/education program in Palo Alto targeting middle school and high school students.

Mark’s wife Michelle is a world-class cellist. Their daughter Maya graduated from Stanford in 2013 and their son Nick is a senior at Brown. Mark is a big sports fan, and enjoys golf, hiking and bike riding in his free time.