April 10, 2003
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – University of Notre Dame men’s tennis coach Bob Bayliss will be one of two coaches leading a 10-player Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-Star Team in a pair of exhibition matches in Tokyo, Japan from June 12-16, the ITA announced on Wednesday.
The team, comprised of top players from all of the ITA’s divisions (NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and Junior/Community College), will help Waseda University celebrate its 100th anniversary of tennis by competing in two exhibition matches in Tokyo. Matches are expected to be major media events, including television coverage, and will take place in Ariake Stadium, which holds 10,000 spectators. On June 14, the All-Stars will face Waseda University, which earned the No. 1 ranking in Japan last year, before the U.S. squad takes on a Japanese All-Star Team the following day. The matches will feature a format similar to that used in World Team Tennis, which features men and women competing together on the same team in men’s and women’s singles, doubles, and mixed doubles.
“I am very honored and humbled to be named the U.S. coach for the college all-star team in its trip to Japan,” said Bayliss. “The opportunity to work with such outstanding players is one I cherish, and I hope it will be as great an opportunity for our players as I know it will be for me. I’ve never been to that part of the world before, and I know the stadium will be sold out and it will be a national media event in Japan so all of us are thrilled with the opportunity to represent college tennis.”
This will mark the second time Bayliss has led a team of American collegiate players abroad for international competition. In 1991, he coached the United States to a gold medal in the World University Games in Sheffield, England.
Earning spots on the All-Star Team were Adam Davidson of Azusa Pacific (Calif.), Amer Delic of Illinois, Ryan Dunne of Florida Southern, John Paul Fruttero of California, Mary Ellen Gordon of Emory (Ga.), Raquel Kops-Jones of California, Jewel Peterson of USC, Leslie Stewart of Tyler (Texas) Junior College, Sara Walker of UCLA, and Todd Widom of Miami.
Bayliss and Ann Lebedoff of Pomona-Pitzer (Calif.) College were selected by the ITA Board of Directors to coach the squad based on overall coaching accomplishments and special achievements; sportsmanship, leadership and character; and contributions to community activities/ITA meritorious service.
His selection as the coach of the ITA All-Star Team is the latest of many honors Bayliss has received throughout his career. The 16-year Irish mentor, named national coach of the year in 1980 and ’92, is a four-time midwest region coach of the year and has been honored as his conference’s top coach on 10 occasions, including three times in seven years in the BIG EAST. Bayliss has a 291-139 (.677) record at Notre Dame and is in his 34th year overall as a collegiate coach, with a 573-233 (.711) mark, including 33 consecutive winning seasons. He ranks sixth among active NCAA Division I coaches in career victories and is one of just three coaches to have led his current team to the NCAA tournament in each of the last 12 seasons, a streak that also represents the longest of any sport at Notre Dame.
Bayliss’ Irish have finished in the top 20 nine times in the past 13 years, advancing to the NCAA round of 16 on five occasions, highlighted by a quarterfinal appearance in 1993 and a national runner-up finish in ’92. In his time at Notre Dame, Bayliss’ teams have won 10 conference titles, while his players have earned All-America honors 17 times, won eight national ITA awards, and earned 15 invitations to the NCAA singles championship and 11 to the NCAA doubles tournament.
Bayliss was honored in 1995 with the Meritorious Service Award, which had previously been given to just six coaches, for his extraordinary contributions to collegiate tennis and his service to the collegiate tennis community throughout his career. He currently serves on the ITA executive board and is one of seven members of both the ITA executive and budget committee and collegiate hall of fame committee. He also serves as co-chairperson of the ITA ethics and infractions committee and assistant chair of the men’s NCAA Division I operating committee.
A member of the Athletics Hall of Fame at the University of Richmond, where he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English while playing tennis and basketball, Bayliss began his coaching career at Navy, where he coached for 11 years. He then coached at MIT for three years before coming to Notre Dame in 1988.
Bayliss’ 2003 Irish squad will play at No. 12 Kentucky on Sunday before finishing the regular season Tuesday at home vs. Indiana State at 3:30 p.m.