Dec. 9, 2005
Notre Dame men’s tennis head coach Bob Bayliss recognized recently by the United States Naval Academy, where he was the head tennis coach for 15 years, as well as the school’s head squash coach for four seasons. Navy named one of its varsity tennis courts in his honor and also dedicated a plaque in its squash facility on the occasion of the return to campus by Bayliss, who posted a 19-0 record against Army during his tenure in Annapolis.
The long-time Irish mentor visited the Naval Academy during the weekend of Nov. 5, which also featured the football team’s homecoming game, a 49-21 win over Tulane. Though the tennis court had been dedicated previously – when Bayliss was unable to attend – there was a small ceremony held to show it to him. The weekend also featured the squash team’s annual alumni match, the Bowen Cup, and the dedication of a new plaque honoring Bayliss’ service to that team.
Bayliss spent 15 years (1970-84) heading up the Navy tennis program, leading the Midshipmen to a 248-80 (.756) record. His tenure was highlighted by his being named the 1980 National Coach of the Year by the United States Professional Tennis Association. Navy finished with a 19-5 record that season and Bayliss was named the Maryland Professional of the Year. Named the Mid-Atlantic Conference Coach of the Year in three-consecutive seasons from 1978-80, he led the Midshipmen to a 22-3 record in 1982.
In addition to handling the tennis coaching duties, Bayliss took over the coaching reigns from longtime Navy squash coach Art Potter in 1978. Bayliss spent four years coaching both the tennis and squash teams and directed the squash program to a 42-16 record (.724) from 1978-81. Along the way, he helped develop three All-American players.
In addition to his coaching duties at the Academy, Bayliss was an assistant professor of English and associate professor of physical education.
“I was Bobby Bayliss’ first recruit and much of what I do as a coach now is modeled after what coach Bayliss taught me,” said Navy head coach Craig Dawson, a 1973 graduate who garnered All-America squash recognition in his final season. “His 15 years of coaching racket sports at Navy helped establish the high standards expected for both the tennis and squash programs. With a combined win-loss record of 290-96 and an undefeated mark against Army 19-0, he truly new how to recruit, coach and win. The response by players, alumni and friends to dedicate a plaque in his honor shows the positive impact he had on so many people.”