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Rare honour for Assam tennis coach at Columbia University

Rare honour for Assam tennis coach at Columbia University

Abdul Gani

Published: 3 Jun 2019 8:05 AM GMT
Tennis coach Bidyut Kumar Goswami is set to attain a rare honour as Columbia University has decided to rename the men’s coaching position of the university after his name. Goswami popularly known as 'Bid', coached their men's team for the last 37 years and announced his retirement after enriching the team with an impressive record. The position of the men’s tennis coach will be known as the ‘Bidyut K. Goswami Head Coach of Men’s Tennis’. Columbia University’s Campbell Family Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Physical Education Peter Piling said that Goswami is a genuine, humble leader who has always been focussed on helping his student-athletes achieve more than they ever thought they were capable of accomplishing, both on and off the court.
“Bid Goswami is synonymous with Columbia University and Columbia men’s tennis. To compete consistently on a national level while displaying the highest level of academic success is remarkable. We owe him a heartfelt thank you for his lifetime contributions to our tennis program,”
Piling was quoted as saying by the Ivy League website. The Ivy League is the most diverse intercollegiate conference in the USA. Since he took the helm in 1982, Goswami has led the men’s tennis team to 13 Ivy League championships, including five consecutive titles since 2014. He has also amassed the most wins among all head coaches who have served in the program, with a record of 493-196. Other highlights on Goswami’s lengthy list of accomplishments include leading Columbia to 13 NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) Tournament appearances, coaching three players who received All-American honours, and being named the first-ever Ivy League Men’s Tennis Coach of the Year.
“It has been my absolute privilege and honour to serve as Columbia University’s men’s tennis coach these last 37 years. Seems like only yesterday when I was introduced as the new head coach at the Remmer Boat House,” said Goswami who grew up in Guwahati in his note. Goswami studied in Don Bosco School in Guwahati and earned a bachelor’s degree in business from St. Xavier’s College of Calcutta University in 1973 and competed for St. Xavier’s in tennis from 1970-73. He became the first player from Assam to represent India in the Davis Cup, in 1974-75. He also represented India in 1974 Tehran Asian Games. He also won the Indian National Singles title for Men in 1979. On the job at Columbia, he said that the most rewarding part of this job is to know that all the players have moved on in life to become successful human beings.
“It is always fascinating to see them come back, support our program and call Columbia tennis their extended family. A coach’s job is always to help develop people as individuals, apart from coaching their sport. Tennis is a fantastic sport to teach life’s lessons. I hope I made a little difference to each one of my players. I must say that I learned much more from them in return,”
the 67-year old Goswami, now a resident of New York, added. Back in Assam, it’s an exciting moment for the tennis fraternity. “It’s extremely proud and an extraordinary moment for all of us. No one has ever done that before. We are going to have a special arrangement when he comes to Assam,” Raktim Saikia, Goswami’s schoolmate and the president of All Assam Tennis Association (AATA) told The Bridge. Goswami by the Numbers (courtesy: Columbia Athletics Communications) 3 – All Americans (Jeff Chiang – 1990; Winston Lin – 2014-15) 4 – Ivy League Rookies of the Year (Jonathan Wong – 2007; Haig Schneiderman – 2009; Winston Lin – 2012; Dragos Ignat – 2013) 6 – Ivy League Players of the Year (Phil Williamson – 1987; Salil Seshadri – 1998; Oscar Chow – 2003; Winston Lin – 2014; Victor Pham – 2017, 2018) 14 – NCAA Tournament Appearances 14 – Ivy League Championships (1984, 1987, 1994, 2000-01, 2007, 2009-10, 2014-18) 46 – All-Ivy League Doubles Players 69 – All-Ivy League Singles Players 491-196 – Career dual record after the 2017-18 season
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