Eastwood hires Bajek

El Paso Eastwood has announced the hiring of Aaron Bajek to lead their volleyball team.

Bajek, who coached San Elizario the last two seasons, will be taking over for Vanessa Strange, who jumped ship for El Dorado. He will be inheriting some quality volleyball players in Alexia Heist (Wildfire), Alyhsa Blanco (Wildfire) and Yasmin Al-Hanfoosh (Texas Power).

Coach Bajek also coached RapidFire 18 Kaepa team and was recently elected as the SURVA Southwest Representative.

Eastwood picks new volleyball head coach
By Aaron Bracamontes \ El Paso Times

EL PASO — Change will be in the air this fall for Eastwood High School athletics.

Five months after naming a new head football coach, Eastwood High School presented a new leader Thursday for its volleyball program.

Aaron Bajek was named the Troopers’ new volleyball coach, replacing Vanessa Strange, who in March accepted the head volleyball coach job at El Dorado.

“It’s definitely a big job for me, but I’m excited,” Bajek said. “There’s a good core there, and I think they are hungry … They’ve been second or third in district the last two years and I think they want more.”

Eastwood has had its share of volleyball success in recent years, as Strange compiled a 108-48 record (82-42 in District 1-5A) with four playoff appearances in eight seasons as coach.

In his two years at San Elizario, Bajek coached the Eagles to a 48-27 record (19-9 in District 2-4A) with playoff appearances in both seasons.

The players were introduced to Bajek by Eastwood athletic coordinator and football coach David Satcher on Friday. Satcher was named head football coach for the Troopers on Jan. 29.

“They were really excited,” Satcher said. “Our girls were waiting for someone to take the leadership.”

Bajek said he hopes to use the summer to get the players and their parents clicking together.

“I want dedication and I want to build off the changes with the Eastwood football team, too,” Bajek said. “We want girls in there who are there for the right reasons. So hopefully we can get some girls to college.”

Bajek hopes the Troopers can play well at their opening tournament in San Antonio and be in mid-season form by the time they begin district.

“He has a plan and vision of where they should be,” Satcher said. “He sees them in the playoffs and he is going to push them there.”

Bajek informed the San Elizario team of his decision Saturday and said it was an emotional farewell.

“It hurt me to go,” he said. “I told them I didn’t leave them for one player or even a team but for a bunch of reasons that they may not completely understand until they are adults.”

During his time in San Elizario, Bajek said he enjoyed working with the players.

“I had originally wanted to stay there at least four to five years,” he said. “But sometimes you get opportunities you can’t pass up.”

At Eastwood, Bajek has big goals for the Troopers, who return six players from last year’s squad.

“5A is a bigger stage,” Bajek said. “I want to get past the first round of the playoffs and see what it is like.”

Aaron Bracamontes may be reached at abracamontes@elpasotimes.com; 546-6381.

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