CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Harvard Athletics is proud to announce that four of its head coaches have received Coach of Excellence awards for 2019-20. Head coach of softball Jenny Allard and head coach of field hockey Tjerk van Herwaarden have been named recipients of the Ragatz Family Harvard Women's Coach of Excellence, while Mike Way, the Gregory Lee '87 and Russell Ball '88 Endowed Coach for Squash at Harvard University, and Kevin Tyrrell, The Ulen-Brooks Endowed Coach for Harvard Men's Swimming & Diving, were selected as honorees of the James Herscot '58 Coach of Excellence award.
These head coaches have each distinguished themselves throughout their tenures at Harvard, and all four of their teams experienced a remarkable level of success last year. Their programs each earned Ivy League championships in 2018-19 and have won at least two of the past three Ivy titles for their respective sport. All four recipients have also led their programs to success on the national level.
"I am proud of Jenny, Tjerk, Mike and Kevin for their continued leadership, both as coaches and as educators, helping their student-athletes excel holistically at Harvard," stated Bob Scalise, the John D. Nichols '53 Family Director of Athletics. "I am grateful to Jim Herscot '58 and Kendra Ragatz '95 for establishing these two Coach of Excellence Awards that enable us to recognize outstanding members of our Department."
These Coach of Excellence Awards augment a robust list of endowed positions in Harvard Athletics. Criteria for selection includes coaching tenure at Harvard, overall contribution to the Athletics Department, team performance, student-athlete experience and development, leadership within their sport (or at Harvard), and other criteria related to excellence in coaching at Harvard. The Coach of Excellence title will be carried in addition to other coaching titles the individual may have. Income from this fund will assist with professional development and general program support, among other expenses.
Earning the Coach of Excellence title for the second-consecutive year, Allard has led the softball program to a 635-473-3 overall record across 25 seasons, including a remarkable .723 winning percentage within the Ivy League. The 2019 team tallied its second-straight Ivy title, and the program's ninth in Allard's tenure. She serves on the NCAA Division I Softball Committee and is a member of the NFCA Coaches Association.
In his eighth season with the Harvard field hockey program, van Herwaarden has led the Crimson to a pair of Ivy League championships, including the program's first NCAA tournament victory in 2018 over Penn State. The Crimson are 72-49 under his leadership, including a program record 17 wins a year ago. His staff was recognized in 2018 as the NFHCA Northeast Region Coaching Staff of the Year. Van Herwaarden is on the NCAA Field Hockey Regional Advisory Committee and has been a consultant for USA Field Hockey and the Dutch National Hockey Association.
Entering his 10th campaign in Cambridge, Way has established Harvard as the preeminent squash program in the country. Way has led the Crimson to nine CSA national championships, seven with the women and two with the men, including an unbeaten mark in 2018-19 for both teams. He holds a 119-29 record with five Ivy League titles with the men's program, and a 127-5 tally with six Ivy League championships with the women. Harvard swept the individual national championships last year, while Way has mentored 12 national champions over his 10 years. He is also a board member for the Squash and Education Alliance.
Tyrrell is in his seventh season at the helm of the men's swimming and diving program, where he has captured four Ivy League championships, including three in-a-row. He holds a 53-4 head-to-head record, including a 39-1 mark against Ancient Eight foes. In 2018-19, Harvard finished eighth at the NCAA championships, which is the highest finish for an Ivy League program in more than 50 years. Tyrrell is active on the NCAA Division I Swimming Committee, and is on the USA Swimming national team coaching staff.