New York, N.Y. - Senior Osama Khalifa has won the 2018 College Squash Association (CSA) John Skillman Award—the most significant men’s individual honor bestowed by the organization.
The Skillman Award is named for John Skillman, the legendary Yale coach of 41 years, who compiled a 451-77 record and 16 national titles. Khalifa is the second Skillman winner from Columbia, following Ramit Tandon in 2015.
Khalifa is a three-time first Team All-American selection and posted a 51-4 regular season record over his career at Columbia. In 2018, Khalifa led the Lions to the program’s first Ivy League crown, capturing the decisive win in 5-4 team victories over both Harvard and Penn. Khalifa was the 2017 college individual champion—the first national title for any Columbia player—and also reached the individual finals as a freshman in 2015. He won three straight Ivy League Player of the Year awards from sophomore to senior year and has anchored the Lions in the No. 1 position for the past three seasons.
Khalifa, a three-time Columbia captain, is praised for his team orientation and on-court demeanor: “I think anyone would be hard-pressed to find a negative word to say about his conduct on and off court,” praised Columbia head coach Jacques Swanepoel, “[Khalifa] has always placed the team ahead of himself. He is modest and gracious and I believe he sets a great example for all college athletes.”
Khalifa will not participate in this weekend's CSA Individual Championships due to injury.