IRVINE, CA., Sept. 18. FORMER U Cal Irvine All-American and Olympic Trials qualifier Brian Pajer has taken over as head coach of his alma mater's women's and men's swimming program.
Pajer succeeds long-time coach Charlied Schober, who now becomes Irvine's director of aquatics.
Pajer has been an assistant coach at UCI since 1999 and also started the Irvine Aquazots program three years ago. Prior to that, he was head age group coach of Nova Aquatics from 1992-99 and was named Southern California Age Group Coach of the Year in 1994. He is a 1990 UCI graduate with a bachelor’s degree in physics.
Among the swimmers he helped develop while guiding theAquazots was national champion Kristen Caverly, who graduated earlier this year from San Clemente High where she set the national prep record in the 200 IM last year. Caverly, a world-class competitor who has won several United States Swimming individual titles in the 200 breast and 400 IM, is a froshwoman this fall at Stanford.
"I am very excited to have been selected as the new head coach for men’s and women’s swimming and diving at UC Irvine," Pajer said. "With the great facilities and strong athletic department support in place, the future looks bright for swimming and diving at UCI. I am looking forward to helping develop what is already a talented young group of swimmers and divers into a
team that will have an impact nationally."
Pajer was inducted into the UCI Athletic Hall of Fame this past February. He was an eight-time Big West Conference champion in swimming for the Anteaters, winning the 100-yard breaststroke and the 200-yard breaststroke in 1986, 1987, 1989 and 1990. He was named Big West swimming "Athlete of the Year" in 1987 and 1990.
Pajer set conference records in the 100-yard breaststroke (54.26) and the 200-yard breaststroke (1:58.32) in 1990. He earned NCAA All-American honors
in the 100 breaststroke in 1989 and in the 100 and 200 breaststroke events in 1990. Pajer was undefeated in the 100 and 200 breaststroke in dual meets for all four years of his collegiate competition, was an NCAA finalist in both breaststroke races and still holds the Big West Conference records in thsoe races. He was a Big West Conference Scholar-Athlete during each of his four years of competition and was UCI’s male Big West Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 1987 and 1989.
Pajer competed in the 1988 Olympic Trials in the 100 and 200-meter breaststrokes, and in the 1992 Trials, where he finished seventh in the 100 breaststroke. He captured gold medals in the 100 breaststroke and medley relay in the 1991 University Games in Sheffield, England.
Pajer says his first priority is ending Santa Barbara's longtime reign as king of the conference men's teams and also taking the measure of Pacific on
the women's side."
– Bill Bell