Aaron Mahaney enters his fifth season as an assistant swimming and diving coach in Happy Valley. The former Michigan State standout, Mahaney made a pair of coaching stops before joining the Nittany Lions coaching staff for the 2008-09 season.
During his time in Happy Valley, Mahaney has helped at least one Nittany Lion advance to the NCAA Championships each year and seen the women's team finish among the top-40 three times and the men's squad grab top-top-30 finishes each of the past two seasons at the national meet. On an individual level, 21 of his pupils have garnered All-America honors on 54 occasions.
Prior to joining the staff and Penn State, Mahaney served as the assistant coach at the University of Hawaii during the 2005-06 season. While at Hawaii, he coached distance freestyle, butterfly and individual medley events. Mahaney watched as two men's student-athletes claimed Western Athletic Conference crowns. Andrew Affleck won the 500 freestyle and Greg Wilson claimed the crown in the 100 and 200 butterfly events.
The Wahine claimed their first WAC Women's Swimming and Diving Championships and just the second conference title in school history (Big West, 1986) during Mahaney's lone season on the island. They grabbed the programs second best finish (15th) at the NCAA Championships in school history, as well. Mahaney coached Mia Borden to WAC championship in the 100 and 200 butterfly events, along with helping three relay team's claim WAC championships. Along with Borden's WAC championships, Claudia Barsi set the Hawaii school record in the 1,000 and 1,650 freestyle events, records that still stand entering the 2012-13 season.
A graduate of Big Ten rival Michigan State, Mahaney was a four-year letterwinner for the Spartans. While at East Lansing, Mahaney earned the MSU Swimming and Diving Freshman of the Year in 1999 and was the team's Most Valuable Performer in 2002. When the Easton, Pa. native graduated he was among the top-ten in school history in the 1,000 & 1,650 freestyle, 400 IM and 200 butterfly.
He competed at the 2000 and 2004 US Swimming Olympic Trials. At the 2004 US Olympic Trials, Mahaney placed 18th in the 200 butterfly while swimming for the Atlantis Aquatic Club. He also competed in the 200 butterfly during the 2000 trials. Before moving to Hawaii, Aaron was the head intramural swim coach at the University of Georgia from 2004-05. During that time, he taught as a physical education substitute teacher at the Clark County School District.
Mahaney began his coaching career in his hometown of Easton, Pa., where he was an assistant coach at Lafayette College for two years. During his time with the Leopards, Mahaney helped coach three student-athletes that captured Patriot League Swimmers of the Week honors and watched as the team broke six men's school records - including the 500 and 1,000 freestyle - and five women's school records in the pool.
As a prep, Mahaney was a 1998 USA Swimming All-American in the 200 butterfly and was a 1998 USS Junior National Champion. A 1998 National qualifier, Mahaney was a two-time swimming scholastic All- American.
A graduate of Michigan State University, Mahaney owns his bachelor's degree in kinesiology with an emphasis in sports psychology. He is also a registered coaching member of USA Swimming.