Hall of Fame

Kenton Jernigan

Graduation Year


Induction Year


Hall of Fame

Harvard Athletic Achievements

Kenton was the major reason why Harvard was the country's best squash team in both 1983 and 1984. He won the national individual championship Poole Trophy all four years at Harvard. He earned All-American honors in every season at Harvard, was a three-time All-Ivy selection, and was named Ivy League Player of the Year in 1983-84, 1984-85, and 1985-86 (the 1983-84 season was the first time the award was given out). Kenton led Harvard to a sweep of all major titles in 1983 and 1985 (six-man and nine-man intercollegiate, and five-man nationals).

Hall of Fame

Remembering Harvard Athletics

I am honored that the Harvard Varsity Club has chosen to include me among the great athletes being inducted tonight and the many already in this Hall of Fame. I know the squash players the best and it is a great honor to be counted in the same league. I would like to thank the many parties that helped me achieve this honor: My parents: They built a squash club when I was 12 years old which rescued me from losing in the first round of New England junior tennis tournaments. When it was clear that I had an aptitude for squash they became my means of transportation to weekend tournaments and were always my biggest supporters without forcing me to play like I see some parents doing today. My high school practice partners: There were five of us that regularly spent our summers in Newport indoors playing squash. I think we must have been crazy; we obviously had no idea that the beach was 5 minutes away. Squash affected all of us profoundly. Thanks to my brother Kevin, now president of the US Squash Raquets Association; Bill Doyle, past Harvard squash coach; Greg Zaff, founder of Squash Busters, a program exposing underpriviledged youths to squash; J.D. Cregan, squash pro for 10 years after graduating; Mike Gregory, top player at Trinity College; and occasionally, David Segal, who was co-captain of the squash team with me at Harvard. My team and coach: Coming to Harvard with all of its squash successes was a bit scary. I soon realized that the only people that needed to be scared were the opposing teams! During my four years we never lost a nine-man team match and it never felt like we were close to losing one. Our team was so strong that during my freshman year I won the US Men's National Singles title while one week later I was playing number three in a nine-man team match against Princeton! I am still not sure how Dave Fish explained that line-up to our unhappy opposition. My teammates, and especially David Segal, made practice a lot of fun. Without their companionship it would have been very easy to lose interest over four years of practice. When I arrived at Harvard my game had many technical faults. Dave Fish spent my freshman year trying to figure out how he was going to make major changes and keep my winning ways on track. Beginnning with my sophomore year he decided to spend the majority of the time on my backhand. He succeeded in making some painful changes and I continued to win. After I left Harvard, and began playing professionally, I was especially thankful for these changes. Not surprisingly, my backhand became the most consistent part of my game. Thanks Dave, sorry we lost you to that other raquet sport, but you can still come back! And lastly, thanks to Jack Barnaby who passed away this year. Jack was the winningest Harvard coach who always had something to add. The most important thing that squash and Harvard Athletics has given and continues to give me is life long friends. I met so many people through squash both at Harvard and at the many schools we competed against. It is hard to imagine what my life would be like if squash and Harvard were not a part of it.