- INSIDE ATHLETICS
- FOR THE STUDENTS
Chris Bayless enters his first season as women's track coach at Loyola looking to guide this first-year varsity program to much success, which would come on the back of Bayless' two championship-filled seasons as head coach of the Greyhound men?s and women?s cross country teams.
In 2003, Bayless saw his women's squad win Loyola's first-ever Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) championship, earn a ranking of No. 13 in the Mid-Atlantic Region Cross Country Coaches' Poll, and guided freshman Andrea Rovegno, who had never before run cross country at any level, win four individual titles.
During his inaugural campaign as head women's coach in 2002, Bayless led the Greyhounds to team titles at the Cross Country-Only National Championships and the Maryland State Collegiate Cross Country Championship. He also guided then-sophomore Jackie Truncellito to three individual wins, including the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) championship -- Loyola's first MAAC cross country title of any kind, men's or women's, team or individual.
Bayless took the men's team to its first team title in the history of the Greyhound men's program with a victory at the 2003 McDaniel College Invitational, a third-place finish at the 2002 Cross Country-Only National Championships, and has molded junior James DaSilva in to a consistent top-five finisher.
It is this level of succes that Loyola Athletic Director Joe Boylan was looking for when he named Bayless head coach of both the men?s and women?s squads in January 2002 after Bayless spent 2001 as mentor of the Greyhound men?s squad.
Bayless came to Loyola fresh off a superb two year run as head coach of both the men?s and women?s cross country teams at Anne Arundel Community College (AACC) in Arnold, MD, where he led both squads to Top 10 finishes at the Junior College national championships.
Besides team success at AACC, Bayless also helped his athletes attain individual glory as he coached a male 1500 runner to a time of 3:56, good enough for a second-place finish at the Junior Olympic Championships.
Before AACC, Bayless was the head cross country and track and field coach at South River (MD) High School where he expanded the program from 35 to 200 athletes within three years, significantly raising its status. Bayless also spent 1995 and 1996 as the head cross country coach at St. Mary?s High School in Annapolis, where he guided the team to two consecutive Catholic League titles.
Prior to St. Mary?s, Bayless served as an assistant track and field coach at Morgan State University from 1989-1992, in charge of recruiting for the Southeast Region. While in college, Bayless also helped coach the Bowie(MD) High School track and field team?s middle distance runners and saw six of his athletes win individual state titles.
Bayless graduated from Morgan State University, where he had an extremely decorated collegiate long distance career. The Hounds? coach was named Morgan State Track and Field Athlete of the Year in 1988 and Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Athlete of the Year in 1989, was MEAC Cross Country Champion in 1989-90 and achieved second team All-America status in both cross country and track and field in 1989-90.
Bayless also reached the 10,000-meter and marathon Olympic Trials Qualifier from 1984-1988 and was named a USA Track and Field Coach in 1998.
Bayless founded the Athletes? Foot Track and Field Club in May 1999 and helped it gain membership into USA Track and Field. He was also the first coach in the country to enroll in and complete the U.S. Track Coaches Association?s Track and Field Coaches Diploma Program, where he was further educated in how to properly teach and coach every cross country and track and field event.