Hartford, Conn. – Trinity College Head Men's Squash Coach Paul Assaiante's new book, Run to the Roar: Coaching to Overcome Fear, tells the story of one of the most successful dynasties in the history of U.S. collegiate varsity sports: the Trinity College men's squash team, which is riding the crest of a 224-match winning streak and 12 national titles. The book has received national and local publicity including interviews on Connecticut Public Broadcasting, WNPR's Colin McEnroe Show and Face The State on Connecticut's Channel 3 CBS station, feature stories in collegesquashassociation.com, Connecticut Magazine, the Hartford Courant and the Boston Globe, the Larry Parks Show, and a reprint of the forward by Tom Wolfe on Sports Illustrated's on-line version.
The book, whose publisher is the Penguin Group and which goes on sale over the Thanksgiving holiday, is centered on a single contest – the February 2009 national championship match against Princeton University. And while Run to the Roar talks about nine players "who gave their all for Trinity," the book is much, much more.
It is about Assaiante's infectious passion for the sport, his successful coaching philosophy (face your fears head-on), and how he recruits talented young men from around the world, molds them into a team and drives them to achieve unparalleled success. Interwoven throughout the book is Assaiante's relationship with his son Matthew, who has spent much of his life wrestling with the demons of drug abuse.
Co-authored by James Zug, the book is a no-holds-barred look at the coach's incredible success on the squash court and his son's ongoing difficulties.
Tom Wolfe, the best-selling author and journalist whose son, Tommy, played squash at Trinity, wrote the book's forward. "Run to the Roar is one of those rare sports books, like Michael Lewis's Moneyball, that quite effortlessly starts you thinking about life far beyond the confines of the sport itself," said Wolfe. "Assaiante provides a lesson in 21st century global psychology. He describes how he turned athletes from 19 countries and every continent on the globe except Antarctica, all of them ambitious and many of them hot-dogging egotists, into brotherly-loving, team-spirited, one-for-all-and-all-for-one creatures within their own ranks…and implacable warriors on the court."
Assaiante's team has remained undefeated longer than any other team in collegiate varsity sports history, besting the Yale men's swimming team streak of 201 wins from 1940 through 1961.
Prominent athletes, coaches and writers have said the following about the book:
• Duke men's basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski – "Winning is difficult. To win all the time is amazing. In Run to the Roar, Paul Assaiante shares with us the passion, preparation, and execution necessary to be an incredible winner. It is certainly a read worth savoring."
• Former tennis great Billie Jean King – "We get an inside look at Paul Assaiante's winning attitude, his commitment to excellence, and his formula for creating champions on and off the court."
• Michael Bamberger, senior writer at Sports Illustrated – "The genius of Paul Assaiante is not what he understands about squash, which is spectacular enough, but what he understands about people. Reading this book he wrote with James Zug will make you better at something. Maybe squash. Likely life."
• Assaiante himself – "This is not a book about squash. It is about leadership. It is about pride, about instinct, control, about anger management, about talent, about mentoring. These are universal issues that every parent and every coach faces."
A resident of West Hartford, Conn., Assaiante got his start in coaching at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point before arriving at Trinity in 1994, where he has led both the men's squash and tennis programs. He is also the coach of the U.S. national squash team and has been named the U.S. Olympic Coach of the Year.
Approximately 60 colleges and universities have varsity squash teams; they often recruit the best players from all over the world.
Zug, a Wilmington, Del. resident, has written six books, including the definitive history of squash in the U.S. He has also written for The Atlantic, Outside, The Boston Globe, and VanityFair.com.