Paul Assaiante, one of the most successful coaches in college sports history and the former Ganek Family US Squash Head National Coach, announced his retirement following his twenty-ninth season as the Trinity College Men’s Head Coach Thursday, March 16.
Assaiante famously led the Bantams to thirteen consecutive College Squash Association titles from 1999 to 2011 spanning 252 wins in a row–the longest winning streak in the history of intercollegiate varsity sports. Under Assaiante’s three-decades-long leadership, the Bantams won seventeen total Potter Cups in twenty-two Potter Cup final appearances. He retires with a 507-29 all-time record as the Trinity head coach and a 618-93 record as head coach for Trinity, Army and Williams.
Outside of his role with Trinity, Assaiante had served US Squash in various national coaching roles for World and Pan American team competitions since 1998. He was formally named to the Head National Coach role and volunteered his time beginning in 2008. By 2014, Assaiante had been elevated to a part-time position as the Ganek Family US Squash Head National Coach, a move enabled by the generosity of the Ganek Family who made what was at the time the largest contribution to US Squash in its history to establish the role in perpetuity. Assaiante left behind a medal-laden legacy including record-setting performances at the 2015 and 2019 Pan American Games, the biggest international stage for American athletes in multi-sport international competition.
Twice nominated as the United States Olympic Committee Coach of the Year, Assaiante also 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.
“This was coming, I wanted to do the best thing for the team and for the kids and it was an easy decision for me,” Assaiante said. “Physically, I can’t do this anymore. I still have a lot to give and I will stay at the college and continue working and helping the athletic department, and will also be around the program, but not in any overbearing way. It was just time. When I look back on it, the paycheck is and will always be the relationships. To see people that you recruited and shared those wonderful four years with, and then to see them married and having children and doing great in their careers–or to not be doing great and to help them through that–it’s a beautiful shared journey. The only thing I feel is that I have received much more than I have given. The Karmic circle has been so kind to me so I feel blessed.”
Assaiante also helmed the Trinity Men’s Tennis program for nineteen seasons, notching a 188-97 career record. Prior to Trinity, Assaiante coached the men’s squash and tennis teams at Army from 1976-85 and Williams College from 1988-91.
“Coach Assaiante’s legacy speaks for itself, his involvement in college squash for nearly half a century changed the course of history in the sport,” said Kevin Klipstein, US Squash President & CEO. “Coach’s record is really without equal, and his voice will be sorely missed among the college ranks.”
David Poolman, CSA Executive Director & League Commissioner aded: “Coach Assaiante’s on-court record is something to behold, but it is the impact that he has had on countless individuals throughout his career that will really last the test of time. Even as he leaves his official position in the coaching ranks, we are lucky that we can continue to learn and grow with guidance from his experience, wisdom, and love of college squash. Thank you, Coach!”
“Squash has taught me the essence of sports,” Assaiante reflected. “The most important things in sport are the life lessons you get through it: learning how to win, learning how to lose, learning how to adjust on the fly, learning how to strategize. It’s been fun helping people grow as human beings through a sport–and it could have been any sport. Just helping them understand the value of trying hard every day, and handling winning and losing with grace. All of those things are important and when you get right down to the essence of it, that’s the purpose of sport.”