In his second season 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.
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.