Note from CSA Board Chair John Nimick:
Breaking your back as a young man, though tragic for your Olympic level gymnastics aspirations, was the greatest thing that could ever have happened for our sport of squash. You were able to turn, somewhat stiffly, your attention over the last 50 years to your secondary love of racquet sports and become one of the most historic individuals in squash. Very few people have caused the world of sport to take notice of our game, especially on these shores. Hashim Khan, Diehl Mateer, Henri Salaun, Mark Talbott and Jahangir Khan created some recognition, but your run as the winningest varsity college coach of ALL time elevated squash into the national sports spotlight.
Your unparalleled portfolio of awards, recognition, championships and other success is well chronicled, but the way in which you have carried yourself as a coach, father, author, speaker and friend is equally unique. You are a remarkable care-giver, exemplary leader and deeply wise teacher. You have made a positive impact on all of us who have been lucky enough to be in your orbit or pulled into your big bear hug.
Your retirement as coach of the Trinity College Bantams closes a chapter, but the novel of squash is a work in progress. With your continued help and enthusiasm, we can create a more robust world of squash on campus and an even better student-athlete experience.
From Trinity College Athletics
HARTFORD, Conn. – Paul Assaiante, one of the greatest coaches in the history of intercollegiate athletics, has announced that he will end his 30-year tenure as the head coach of Trinity College men’s squash this year. Assaiante guided the Bantams to 13 consecutive College Squash Association (CSA) National titles from 1999 to 2011 and 252 wins in a row, giving Trinity ownership of the longest winning streak in the history of intercollegiate varsity sports. Assaiante, a member of the College Squash Association Hall of Fame, also coached Trinity to national crowns in 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2018 to give the Bantams 17 in a 22-year span. The Bantams were also in the CSA Finals in 2012, 2014, 2019 and 2023. Assaiante will continue to be an ambassador for Trinity Athletics and the college will conduct a national search for its next head men’s squash coach. Mohamed Sharaf to the Pool “A” Division National title, giving Trinity four players and six total Pool Trophy champs in his tenure (Marcus Cowie twice, Bernardo Samper, Baset Chaudhry twice, Sharaf). In all, Assaiante-coached squads have boasted 96 All-NESCAC selections and will total 47 All-Americans when those selections are announced. 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, the Trinity College Athletic Department Coach of the Year and a Trinity College Trustee of Excellence Award. Assaiante was previously the NESCAC Coach of the Year in both 2008 and 2009. He retires with a 507-29 all-time record as the Bantam head coach and a 618-93 record as head squash for Trinity, Army and Williams. “It is impossible to put into words the impact Coach Assaiante has had on Trinity, our athletic department, the men’s squash program and the students he coached and taught in a lifetime of education,” said Director of Athletics Drew Galbraith. “It is easy to get lost in the accolades, the national championships, “The Streak,” and the accomplishments of his teams, but at his core, Coach’s impact was most evident in the relationships he built with his student-athletes and the life lessons he imparted on so many in our community. We are so happy that he, Julia and their family will still be a part of the Trinity community for years to come and we will have the benefit of Coach’s wisdom.” Assaiante has been a major force in the rejuvenation of the United States Squash Team over the last 25 years. Assaiante-coached U.S. teams finished a best-ever sixth in the World Championships in Germany in 2011 and dominated the 2019 Pan American Games with five gold medals . 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 during that time. His fund-raising efforts produced two new synthetic outdoor fields, a premier squash facility, a new boathouse, and a community ice skating center for the College. In addition, more than $11 million was raised with more recent projects that included new baseball and softball diamonds. Trinity’s remodeled tennis courts were christened as the Paul D. Assaiante Tennis Center in the fall of 2010 and there is a squash court in the George A. Kellner ’64 Center that bears his name. Assaiante received the Trustee Award of Excellence and an Arthur Hughes Award for teaching by the college . He currently serves as the college’s associate director of athletic endowments and is a professor of physical education. An endowed chair is also named after him, the Paul D. Assaiante Chair for Physical Education.“My time at Trinity has been a blessing for me and my family,” said Coach Assaiante. “I truly feel that I have received much more than I have given. I have been the luckiest guy in the world.” In his final season, Assaiante guided the Bantams to a 17-5 record, its 16th consecutive New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Championship title, and to the CSA (Potter Trophy) Finals, where they lost, 5-4, on the final match after advancing through the first two rebounds despite being seeded No. 6 of eight teams in the field. In the 2023 CSA National Singles Championships, Assaiante capped off his career by guiding