For the eighth time in his illustrious career, Columbia Tennis Alumni and Friends Men’s Tennis Head Coach Bid Goswami led the Lions to the Ivy League title in 2010. It was Goswami's third Ivy League title in the last four years, and his fifth since the year 2000. Columbia men’s tennis program has become a model program of consistent winning under the guidance of Goswami, who enters his 29th season as the Lions’ head man this year
The 2010 season saw Columbia go a near perfect 6-1 in the Ivy League, and 16-4 overall, earning an NCAA tournament berth for the third time in four years. It was the eighth time Goswami has taken the Lion men’s tennis team to a league title — both the Eastern Intercollegiate Tennis Association (EITA) and its successor, the Ivy League.
Three members of Columbia’s squad were honored by the Ivy League at the end of the season, as Mihai Nichifor ‘12SEAS and Jonathan Wong ‘12CC both earned unanimous first-team All-Ivy League honors in both singles and doubles. Nichifor graduated with a perfect 14-0 Ivy League singles record, while Wong became the first player in Columbia men’s tennis history to be a part of three league championship teams. Haig Schneiderman ‘12CC was also honored by the league, as he earned a second-team singles nod after he went a perfect 7-0 in the No. 3 spot that season.
2009 was a season of similar success for the Lions, as they went 6-1 in the Ivy League, and 16-5 overall, earning a trip to the NCAA tournament. Schneiderman was a unanimous choice for 2009 Ivy League Rookie of the Year that season; it was the second time a player has been given such an honor in recent years, as Wong earned the honor in 2007.
Four other Lions were given All-Ivy honors as the reigning league champions in 2009. Earning distinction in singles were Bogdan Borta ‘09CC (first team), Wong (second team) and Nichifor (second team). Nichifor and Borta teamed up to earn first-team honors in doubles, while Wong and Schneiderman were selected as a second team All-Ivy doubles pair.
Goswami, who has earned numerous honors throughout his career, was honored twice during the 2006-07 season — by Columbia’s Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, which noted that his 25 years as head coach made him second in coaching seniority in the entire department, and by his fellow northeastern tennis coaches, who voted him the Wilson/ITA Regional Coach of the Year.
Both honors were well-deserved tributes to one of the Ivy League’s most successful and enduring tennis coaches. Goswami reaffirmed both during the season, when he led Columbia to the Ivy League championship and a trip to the NCAA Championships.
The Ivy League championship win by Columbia was something of a surprise for the Ancient Eight, which made Penn the favorite to take its second straight championship. But Goswami patiently led his team from the fall, when they finished second in the ECAC Championships and saw Jared Drucker earn a trip to the ITA National Indoors, to the highly successful spring. Columbia went 6-1 in the Ivy League and 16-3 overall.
Goswami’s teams have been particularly successful in the last decade. The Lions have won over 80 percent of their dual matches over the past five years, and just under 80 percent of their Ivy League matches. Goswami has had 12 players go from Columbia to the professional tour, including Jeff Chiang, the 1990 Collegiate Senior Player of the Year, Phil Williamson, the 1987 EITA Player of the Year, and Rob Kresberg, who went on to become the women’s tennis coach at Columbia. He also has seen 31 of his student-athletes named first team All-Ivy League in singles during his tenure.
A former touring pro, Goswami succeeded another ex-touring pro, Paul Gerken, in 1982. He was a member of the Indian Davis Cup squad in 1974-75 and won the Indian National Singles title in 1979 and the Doubles title in 1978.
A native of Assam, in the foothills of the Himalayas, Goswami 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.
After leaving the tour, Goswami became a club professional; since 1977, he has been director of tennis at the Westchester Country Club in Rye, N.Y. Goswami and his wife, Anne, reside in South Salem, N.Y. Their son, Blaise, is a graduate of Princeton University and their daughter, Linnae, a graduate of Columbia College, is a former captain of the Lions’ women’s tennis team.