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WE ARE FRESNO: Tom Pagani

Tom Pagani is a Bulldog Hall-of-Famer who coached track and field in the 1988 Olympics. But whether it's the summer or winter games, they always bring back memories for Pagani.
Tom Pagani is a Bulldog Hall-of-Famer who coached track and field in the 1988 Olympics. But whether it's the summer or winter games, they always bring back memories for Pagani.

There are billions of people who watch the Olympic games and it's an opportunity to bring people together who are diverse, who don't always look at one another as friends. There's so much controversy throughout the wold but in the Olympic games, at lease for a short time, they're together at one play at one time.

A New York city native, Pagani served as an assistant coach at Columbia, Cornell, Illinois, Indiana, and Stanford. He then hit the valley and coached for 17 years at Fresno State.

Pagani coached 52 conference championships, 39 All-Americans, and was inducted into the Fresno State Hall of Fame in 2000. But that's not the only Hall-of-Fame honor he's proud of.

"Hall of Fame for Fresno State and just recently my old high school, and also Cal Poly because I still hold a school record in the hammer throw which is over 50-something years old. I'd like to see that broken but it's still there so i'm proud of it," says Pagani.

During those 17 years as a Bulldog coach, Pagani held the assistant coach role on the 1988 USA Olympics team in Seoul, South Korea. He coached the likes of shot-put world record-holders.

Pagani's favorite part of the games? As simple as this; the unity of the world.

"When we stood out on the warm-up field because the opening ceremonies we stood alphabetically, and right next to us was the USSR, Soviet Union. So here were people we were virtually at war with and now we're together on the same field. The things I had only read about before, or seen on TV and now I was apart of it, so that's something that's irreplaceable."
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