Jacques Swanepoel was named the first-ever head coach of squash for the Lions in September 2009, before the men and women's squash programs began varsity competition in Fall 2010.
Swanepoel was elected as the men's squash Ivy League Coach of the Year in 2014-15 after guiding the Lions to a 13-4 record and a fourth-place national finish, the program's best season in its history. The Lions put together a historical season highlighted upset wins over No. 3 Yale and No. 3 Rochester, along with three Ivy League victories, including Brown, Yale and Dartmouth. With two upset wins over top-five opponents, Columbia earned its highest ranking in program history at No. 3 in the Dunlop National Poll by the College Squash Association on Jan. 23.
He successfully coached talented All-American athletes such as 2014-15 Ivy League Player of Year and Skillman Award Winner, Ramit Tandon, along with Ivy League Rookie of the Year and CSA National Runner-up, Osama Khalifa to capture historical feats.
At the helm of the women's squash program, Swanepoel led the Lions (7-7) for the first time in program history to the Howe Cup (A Division), the top-tier bracket of the 2015 National Championships. The season also saw Colette Sultana become the first in Columbia women's squash history to earn first team All-Ivy League honors.
Swanepoel led the men's squash team to 8-7 winning season in 2013-14. For the second time in three seasons, the men's team capped the season in the nation's top 10, following a runner-up finish in the Hoehn Cup (B Division) of the CSA National Championships. The Lions also made program history with its first ever win over Ivy League foe Dartmouth, 8-1, during the regular season.
The women's team also posted an 8-7 record for its second winning season in program history. The women were also runner-up finishers in the Kurtz Cup (B Division) of the CSA National Championships to cap the year with a No. 10 national ranking. The squad earned a program best No. 9 national ranking during the regular season after its first Ivy League win in program history over then No. 9 Brown
The 2012-13 season saw the men's squad post an 8-10 overall record, with conference wins over Brown and Penn. The Penn match turned out to be an epic three hour back-and-forth tilt that saw the resilient Lions come away with a 5-4 decision.
For the second straight year, Ramit Tandon was selected to the All-Ivy League first team. Tandon finished the season ranked fifth in the nation, posting a team-best 17-4 record. The 2012-13 season also had the first graduates of the squash program see their careers come to a conclusion. For the men, captains Tony Zou and Graham Miao graduated, while Katie Quan graduated a year early on the women's side. Zou became the first Columbia squash player to be invited to compete in three CSA Individual Championships, finishing as the consolation bracket runner-up this year.
Swanepoel also served as the women's head coach, leading Columbia to a 5-11 overall mark. At the CSA Team Nationals, Columbia notched wins over George Washington and Middlebury to finish the season ranked 11th in the nation, two spots better than the previous season.
In only their second year as a varsity program, the Columbia men's squash team put together a strong season and continued to earn national respect with a top 10 national finish. Led by Swanepoel, the Lions are making monumental strides. From getting the program's first Ivy League win over Brown, to a runner-up finish in the Hoehn Cup of the 2012 CSA National Championships, Columbia continues to lay a solid foundation for a strong squash program.
For the second consecutive season, the Men's College Squash Association has awarded Columbia the Barnaby Award for their performance in the 2011-12 season. The Barnaby Award is given annually to the men's team showing the most improvement from the previous season in the sport.
First-year standout Ramit Tandon was selected as Ivy League Co-Rookie of The Year and gained a spot on the All-Ivy League first team, the first postseason honor in program history. Tandon posted a 15-1 record this season earning a No. 2 national ranking following a runner-up finish in the 2012 CSA National Championships. The All-America's only loss of the season came in the exciting championship match with co-Rookie of the Year Ali Farag.
In Swanepoel's first year at the helm of the men's varsity team, Columbia quickly began to make a name for itself. The team finished 13-6 overall in 2010-11 and capped the season by winning the consolation bracket of the Summers Cup (C Division) to finish the year ranked No. 21 overall. The Lions were presented with the Barnaby Award at the National Championship as the most improved team in college squash. Individually, two Columbia players qualified for the Men's Individual National Championship.
A former member of the South African National Squash Team, Swanepoel was a two-time All-American at Trinity, and helped lead the Bantams to four consecutive national championships. Swanepoel served as a captain at Trinity as a senior, and was named the team's Most Improved Player in back-to-back seasons (2005-06). Prior to his time at Trinity, Swanepoel was the No. 2 ranked junior player in South Africa, and participated on the country's U-19 national team.
Swanepoel has worked as a coach at the high school and club levels, and is very involved in the national and international squash community.
Prior to arriving in Morningside Heights, he served as the primary coach for all club camps and clinics at the Fairmount Athletic Club in King of Prussia, Pa. There, he was the personal coach for numerous nationally-ranked players, and helped develop and organize academic programs.
Swanepoel earned a bachelor's degree from Trinity College in environmental science in 2007.