Aaron Paajanen
Aaron Paajanen
Title: Assistant Coach
Phone: 554-4069
Year: Second Season
Previous College: Point Loma Nazarene University

In his second third as an assistant coach, Aaron Paajanen came to Santa Clara after spending four years at Loyola Marymount as an assistant coach. He assists Bronco head coach Derek Mills with all aspects of the program.

In 2015, Paajanen helped the Santa Clara men's tennis program continue its ascent toward becoming one of the top programs on the West Coast and in the nation. Although the team transitioned through a roster restructuring in 2015, Paajanen helped guide the Broncos to upsets over No. 50 University of North Carolina at Wilmington and No. 67 University of Portland, a come-from-behind victory over Fresno State University, and dominating decisions against Saint Mary's College and California State University, Sacramento.

On an individual level, Paajanen aided in the maturation of the young Santa Clara roster and continued to bolster the veterans' games as well. Both Ilya Osintev and Sam Bertram earned WCC Player of the Week Awards and the seniors also took home hardware at the end of season. Osintsev was named to the All-WCC Second Team in singles and, in doubles, he and Bertram took home All-WCC Second Team honors as well. Fellow upperclassman Ashot Khacharyan also continued to pad his resume during his junior season, reaching the finals at the ITA Regionals in the fall and finishing the season with All-WCC Second Team honors in singles and in doubles with partner Mikheil Khmiadashvili.

During the 2014 campaign, Paajanen’s coaching helped Santa Clara to a 17-7 overall record. The squad finished the season with a national ITA ranking of No. 59 including a season-high rank of No. 42. The Broncos knocked off a number of ranked opponents including upsetting No. 39 Oregon 4-2, and beating No. 57 San Diego State 6-1, No. 64 Georgia State 4-0, and No. 69 New Mexico 4-1. Santa Clara reeled off a season-best winning streak of eight matches after starting the season 1-1, which helped it get off to its finest start in decades.

Paajanen's impact on the Broncos’ season was reflected in the WCC awards, as Santa Clara took home a number of accolades throughout the year. John Lamble received First-Team All-WCC honors for his stellar singles play, Ilya Osintsev was named All-WCC Second Team, and Ashot Khacharyan earned All-WCC Honorable Mention in singles. In doubles, Lamble and Ilya Osintsev were named First-Team All-WCC. Osintsev also earned WCC Player of the Week three times, the most in the conference, and he and Lamble were named Doubles Team of the Week once. The duo was named No. 1 doubles team for the WCC Tournament Team and Osintsev earned the No. 2 singles spot as well.

Paajanen was able to keep the entire Broncos roster focused and motivated throughout the season. The team achieved a strong national ranking the entire season while relying on contributions from several walk-ons. One of the walk-ons picked up a huge win in the final match of the season, crushing his WCC Champion and No. 44 USD opponent 6-2, 6-2 at No. 6 in the Broncos’ upset bid. 

In 2013, Paajanen was at LMU. He coached the No. 63 ITA doubles team of Feliz Van Kann and Othar Kordsachia. In 2012 he coached the No. 41 TIA doubles team of Nicholas Bjerke and Sebastian Bustamante and in 2012 he coached the No. 60 ITA doubles team of Ivan Lopez and Otto Saure. Lopez was also No. 87 in the individual ITA rankings. During his time at LMU Paajanen was also a tennis coach at The Gate Junior Tennis Academy in Los Angeles, Calif.

In 2010 and 2011 Paajenen was nominated for the UTSA/ITA Campus and Community Outreach Award. He is has an NCAA recruiting certification.

Before coaching at LMU, Paajenen was an assistant tennis professional from 2005-09 at The Paseo Club in Valencia, Calif. - a Top Seed Tennis Academy. He was an assistant coach at Paradise Valley Community College where his Dad, Jim Paajanen, was the head coach.

Paajanen was in the USTA Top-500 rankings in 2007-08 and recorded wins over ATP ranked players. He was a 2003-04 team captain at Point Loma Nazarene University where he was a student-athlete from 2002-04. At Cowley College he was No. 10 in the NJCAA singles rankings in 2001-02 and was an NJCAA All-American. In 1999-2000 he attended Glendale Community College where he was No. 33 in the NJCAA singles rankings.

Born in Phoenix, Ariz., Paajanen has two sisters, and his parents both played collegiate tennis at Grand Canyon University. He attended North Canyon High School where he played four years of varsity tennis, three years of varsity basketball and ran two years of varsity cross country.

In his free time Paajanen enjoys swimming, surfing and going to concerts.