|Tom Pagani joined the FPU team as an assistant coach in 2000, following his retirement as the head women’s track coach at California State University, Fresno. He is widely regarded as one of the finest throw coaches in the United States.
In his short tenure at FPU, Pagani has helped six Sunbirds earn NAIA All-America honors, including 2003 NAIA National Champions Ben Bogdanoff (javelin, decathlon) and Shlomi Ben-Shushan (hammer).
Prior to his arrival at FPU, Pagani coached 17 years at Fresno State University and led the Bulldogs to Big West titles in 1987, 1988, 1991, and 1992 and the WAC indoor crown in 1994. While at CSUF, Pagani coached 52 conference champions and 39 All-America honorees. His achieved a career dual meet record of 134-30-1, and inducted into the CSUF Hall of Fame in 2000.
Prior to joining Fresno State, Pagani served as an assistant coach at Columbia (1964-66), Cornell (1966-74), Illinois (1974-77) and Indiana (1977-79). He spent three years as field coach at Stanford (1980-82) before moving on to Fresno.
Pagani’s resume also includes and impressive list of national and international experience. In 1982, he was an assistant coach for the U.S. International team competing against the USSR, and East Germany. The following year he was the head coach of the U.S. junior men’s team that defeated Italy and Canada, and coached the men’s West Team in the National Sports Festival in Indianapolis, Indiana. He was on the Team U.S.A. coaching staff for the World University Games in Zagreb, Yugoslavia in 1986. In 1988 Pagani served as an assistant coach on the USA Olympic Team in Seoul, South Korea, coaching the likes of shot put world record-holder and Olympic silver medalist Randy Barnes, Greg Tafralis and Jim Doehring.
Pagani, a native of New York City, graduated from Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo 1962 with a bachelor’s degree of science in physical education. He was the 1961 NCAA hammer throw champion and four-time A.A.U. all-around champion. In 1985 he became only the second inductee into the CP-SLO Track and Field Hall of Fame. He and his wife, Diane, reside in Shaver Lake and have four children and ten grandchildren.