KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 8 ― Malaysian men’s squash legend Ong Beng Hee has taken up the biggest coaching role of his career with his appointment as the new head national coach of US Squash.
Ong, 41, will oversee the entire squash programme from junior to the elite programme, with emphasis on the country’s three Top 25 ranked women’s players Amanda Sobhy, Olivia Blatchford Clyne, Sabrina Sobhy and Olivia Fiechter.
Ong was most recently the head coach for Qatar Squash. He replaces former US head coach Paul Assaiante and will work out of the Arlen Specter US Squash Center in Philadelphia.
“I’m extremely proud and humbled to be given the opportunity to head the US national programme,” Ong was quoted in the US Squash website.
“This is my biggest achievement as a coach, and to be leading the program supported by the amazing facilities at the Specter Center is a dream come true for any coach in the world. I’m grateful to the Ganek family, US Squash and Paul Assaiante. I have known Coach Assaiante for years and look forward to continuing to work with him to help build a bigger and better programme.”
Ong is still the highest ranked Malaysian men’s player, reaching No. 7 in the world, before he retired in 2015. He was the first world junior champion in 1998 and has gone on to represent Malaysia at all levels.
He took up the technical director job in Qatar in 2016 and after being unable to secure a leading role in Malaysia. He has been thriving ever since moving to the gulf nation.
He was in charge of talent identification as well as organising tournaments from junior to national levels. He also took part in coaching the professional players.
Ong will reprise most of these roles in his new appointment while adding his admiration for his new office.
“The Specter Center creates a perfect environment for both the players and coaches, it’s the best squash facility in the world.
“All of the US players are self-driven and motivated to achieve success at the highest level. I’ve come here to share my experience with them, but at the same time learn and grow together,” said Ong.
It’s very important that I’m constantly learning about our players’ games and the modern game itself. We will do our best. I don’t see why we can’t challenge Egypt, the world No. 1, and I feel that we’re not far away.”