Paul Assaiante enters his 29th season as Trinity College Head Men’s Squash Coach in 2021-22, having guided the Bantams to a 19-2 record and its 14th consecutive NESCAC Championship title two winters ago and through the COVID-19 pandemic last year. Trinity won back-to-back Potter Trophy Championships in 2017 and 2018, downing Harvard in both CSA Finals to increase its national title total to 17 crowns in a 22-year span. In 2014-15, Assaiante brought the Bantams to the CSA National Championship Finals for the 19th year in a row, and his charges came through with a win against St. Lawrence in the finals. Trinity had a 20-1 final dual-match record and Assaiante was co-winner of Trinity’s Athletic Department Coach of the Year Award that year. In 2012-13, Trinity won all 19 of its matches and downed Harvard in the CSA Finals to give the Bantams their 14th national crown in 15 years.
Assaiante coached Trinity to the 2013 national crown without a single First-Team All American selection on the roster, and was rewarded with the 2013 NESCAC Coach of the Year award and a Trinity College Trustee of Excellence Award. Assaiante guided the Bantams to 13 consecutive CSA National titles from 1999 to 2011 and 252 wins in a row before a 5-4 loss at Yale in January of 2012 closed the book on the longest winning streak in the history of intercollegiate varsity sports. Assaiante was previously the NESCAC Coach of the Year in both 2008 and 2009. He is 438-16 all-time as the Bantam head coach.
The team’s unprecedented winning streak, which began in 1998, captivated Trinity and beyond — followed by major media outlets across the globe and the nation, including Sports Illustrated, ESPN, the New York Times, and the Hartford Courant. The history of the team will forever remain a legendary piece of history at Trinity College, where squash has been enthusiastically embraced. The team remains one of the most feared in college sports.
From 1999-2003 and again from 2010 to present, Assaiante coached both the United States Squash Team, which dominated the 2019 Pan American Games with five gold medals this summer, and the USA Men’s Team, which finished a best-ever sixth in the World Championships in Germany in 2011. Twice named the United States Olympic Committee Coach of the Year, Assaiante was named one of Connecticut’s top sports coaches of the 20th century by The Hartford Courant and earned an award from the Hartford Business Bureau for his outstanding contribution to sports in the city. Assaiante also coached the U.S. Junior Team to an eighth-place finish in the 2012 World Championships in Qatar and the USA Men to an 11th-place showing in France. Assaiante coached the Trinity men’s tennis squad for 19 seasons, notching a 188-97 career record with the Bantams. His tennis teams were consistently ranked both regionally and nationally, and he earned NESCAC and Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Northeast Regional Men’s Tennis Coach of the Year in 2008.
Assaiante served as the director of athletic development at Trinity for seven years, spearheading the college’s effort to upgrade its athletic facilities. He played a pivotal role in the athletic department’s fund-raising efforts, which produced two new synthetic outdoor fields, the nation’s premier squash facility, a new boathouse, and a community ice skating center for the College. In all, more than $11 million was raised with ongoing projects that include new baseball and softball diamonds and a new field house. Trinity’s remodeled tennis courts were christened as the Paul D. Assaiante Tennis Center in the fall of 2010. He currently serves as the college’s associate director of athletic endowments, and was promoted to full professor of physical education in the summer of 2017.
Assaiante is a 1974 graduate of Springfield College and holds a master’s degree from Long Island University. His coaching experience includes stints at Army for eight seasons with a record of 98-54 and at Williams College from 1987 to 1989, where he was 13-10 to give him a 565-83 overall career varsity record. He was also a squash professional at the world-famous Princeton Club of New York and director of racquet sports at the Baltimore Country Club, the Apawamis Club in Rye, N.Y., and the Bellevue Athletic Club in Seattle, Wash.
Assaiante’s professional athletic career was nothing short of spectacular. He won the World Hardball Doubles Championship in 1988. He was one-half of the U.S. national doubles championship duo in 1994 and captured the USSRA 50-and-over men’s squash title in 2004. Assaiante is also an author of Championship Tennis by the Experts: How to Play Championship Tennis, with Vic Braden (Human Kinetics Publishers, June 1981) and Run to the Roar: Coaching to Overcome Fear with James Zug (Penguin).