William B. Hartigan
1989 – 2024
You will be so missed, by so very many
By Rob Dinerman
It is with a heavy heart that we share the death of Will Hartigan 34, one of the most popular players on the SDA pro doubles tour during the past dozen years and the winner of a number of prestigious invitational tournaments and regional championships in a career highlighted this past March when he and partner Michael Ferreira swept to victory in the 2023 U.S. National Doubles Championship at the Germantown Cricket Club in suburban Philadelphia, defeating Lockie Munro and Lyell Fuller in a four-game final. At the time of Hartigan’s passing he was ranked No. 17 on the SDA tour (having previously been ranked several times in the top 15) and No. 1 in the U.S. Squash Open doubles rankings.
After a junior career in which he was ranked as high as No. 3 in the various U.S. Squash age-group categories, Hartigan played in the Nos. 3 through 5 range on some of the best teams that Cornell has ever had, culminating in the Big Red’s advance to the semifinals of the national collegiate team championship — known as the Potter Cup — for the first time in the history of the school during his senior 2011-12 season. Hartigan had a 15-5 record that season and contributed an important win over Ryan Dowd to Cornell’s quarterfinal victory over heavily-favored Yale.
After graduation, while pursuing a business career in asset and wealth management in New York and Boston, mostly at Merrill Lynch and more recently as a Senior Vice President at UBS, Hartigan has excelled as a squash doubles player, demonstrating a combination of extraordinary athleticism, superior racquet skills and an ability to mesh seamlessly with his partners that enabled him to have noteworthy success while playing either wall and with a variety of partners. In addition to his 2023 U.S. National Doubles run with Ferreira, Hartigan advanced multiple times to the semis of SDA events (most notably the 2017 Briggs Cup, the most lucrative stop on the tour, where he and Adam Bews had a pair of five-game wins over Bobby Burns/Fred Reid and third seeds Ferreira/Yvain Badan); reached the finals of the 2019 U. S. Mixed Doubles with Shirin Kaufman (losing 15-13 in the fifth game to Sabrina Sobhy and Ryan Mullaney); had a two-month stretch from November 2015 to January 2016 with Addison West during which they won, sequentially, the Silver Racquet, the Gold Racquet and the William White; notched three-straight U. S. National Century Doubles 70-and-over titles with Ed Minskoff from 2016-18; captured the 2015 New York City Met A crown with Peter Cipriano and the incredibly competitive Racquet & Tennis Club Championship with Ferreira the last four times that it has been held (2018-19 and 2022-23); and reached the finals of the 2022 and 2023 Mass States Open championships with Charlie Humber and the 2023 U. S. Father & Son tournament with his father, Tony.
Throughout that time, Hartigan’s engaging personality and the positive energy he constantly exuded, both on and off the court, endeared him to spectators and his fellow players alike, and the zest with which he both played and lived his life was so omnipresent and contagious that the news of his sudden passing was universally received with an overwhelming combination of disbelief, shock and sadness. The eloquent UBS statement praised Hartigan for having an impact “that transcended the balance sheets” and aptly concluded that, “His life was a testament to the positive influence one can have when driven by a genuine passion for the well-being of others. As we remember and honor William, let us also reflect on the values he embodied — integrity, dedication, and a commitment to making a meaningful difference in the lives of those he touched.” In addition to his father, Will Hartigan is survived by his mother, Cecile, and sisters Margaret and Elizabeth.