Dec. 17, 2012
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - University of Notre Dame men's tennis coach Bob Bayliss will step down from that position at the end of the 2012-13 season after 26 years with the Irish and a star-studded 44-year college coaching career--and current Irish associate head coach Ryan Sachire, a former Notre Dame All-American, will take over that spot following seven years on the Irish coaching staff.
Bayliss will remain at the University in a new role, serving as manager of tennis facilities. He will be responsible for the oversight of all tennis facilities, to include maintenance, scheduling and facility upgrades and renovation.
"I don't think there's another men's tennis coach in the country who is more respected by his peers than Bobby is, not just for his accomplishments on the court but for how he has represented the game," says Notre Dame vice president and athletics director Jack Swarbrick.
"He has had a fabulous run, he has taken the Notre Dame program to another level and made his team into a consistent NCAA contender."
Bayliss heads into the 2012-13 spring season as the winningest active NCAA Division I men's coach. His overall 746-331-1 (.692) record includes a 455-228 (.666) mark at Notre Dame since he was named the Irish head coach on March 16, 1987.
"It is important for me to step down while I still enjoy what I am doing. I have never felt, for a single day, that I was `going to work.' I now look forward to the other part of my job here--directing the facilities and seeing Notre Dame into the next chapter of its tennis history," says Bayliss.
"I will miss the relationships with players and coaches, the excitement of competition, and the sense of fulfillment that comes with seeing players grow both in their on-court capabilities andtheir personal maturity. My greatest sense of pride lies in the continuing growth and relationships of former players and their successes as husbands,fathers, and leaders in their communities.
"I have been truly blessed to have coached these last 26 years at the greatest university in the world. Knowing that I am turning the reins over to Ryan makes it easier to leave, as I consider him to be the best tennis coach in the country right out of the shoot."
Bayliss previously spent three seasons as head coach at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (43-23-1 record, 1985-87) and 15 years at the U.S. Naval Academy (248-80, 1970-84) before coming to South Bend.
Bayliss' tenure at Notre Dame has featured 21 NCAA Championships appearances in the last 22 seasons--highlighted by an NCAA runner-up finish in 1992 and including seven trips to the NCAA Round of 16. His Irish teams 10 times have finished in the top 20 in national rankings--and his squads have claimed seven BIG EAST Conference Championships and seven Midwestern Collegiate Conference titles.
He has coached 10 Notre Dame All-Americans who have earned that designation on 19 occasions, as well as nine winners of national awards from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. Twenty-three of his Irish players have earned invitations into the NCAA Championships singles bracket, while 14 of his doubles pairings have merited that distinction.
Among the standouts Bayliss has tutored at Notre Dame is former all-star David DiLucia, who ranked number one nationally in both singles and doubles for the Irish in 1991-92. Seventeen of Bayliss' Notre Dame players have moved on to compete professionally.
The ITA named Bayliss the national coach of the year in 1992 and on 14 occasions he has been selected the conference coach of the year (seven times in the BIG EAST). The ITA also presented Bayliss with its Meritorious Service Award in1995 for extraordinary contributions to collegiate tennis.
He's a 1966 University of Richmond graduate who also coached squash at Navy from1978-82. The United States Professional Tennis Association named him the national coach of the year in 1980 while he was at Navy.
Bayliss and his wife Pat are parents of four children--Jackie, Rob, Brendan and Patrick, all Notre Dame graduates.
Sachire (pronounced SATCH-er-ee) played for the Irish from 1997-2000, spent five years playing professionally, spent one year coaching at Baylor and then joined Bayliss' staff as an assistant coach on Aug. 2, 2006. He was promoted to associate head coach in 2008.
"Ryan represents one of the brightest young coaching prospects in the country. He's one of the great players in the history of our program, and he has played a key role in the program's success the last half-dozen years," says Swarbrick.
"With Bobby remaining part of the program, I would expect a seamless transition as Ryan moves into his new role next summer."
"Being named the next head tennis coach at Notre Dame is a dream come true for me. I am humbled by the thought of joining the best collection of head coaches in the country and honored to have been chosen to represent such a prestigious institution in this capacity," says Sachire.
"It is also imperative that I thankCoach Bobby Bayliss, who has been like a second father to me over the past 15 years. The impact that he has made on my life, both personally and professionally, cannot be overstated. I am thrilled to have him remain at Notre Dame in thecoming years, and I have no doubt that his positive influence on our program will continue to be felt long into the future."
"The foundation of Notre Dame tennis moving forward will revolve directly around the development of our players and the maximization of their talents on the tennis court, in the classroom, and as people. We will work tirelessly to create a culture that emphasizes hard work, the expectation of success, and a passion for excellence, and we will emphasize the process ofwinning each day in all aspects of our players' lives."
A Canfield, Ohio, native, Sachire is the only Irish player ever to win 30 or more singles matches in all four of his seasons. A three-time All-American (only three Irish players have accomplished that), he is one of only two Notre Dame players to merit four straight NCAA Championships singles invitations. He ranked as high as number two nationally in singles and finished up with a 138-43 singles mark and 73-32 doubles total.
The ITA National Senior Player of the Year in 2000, he also won the John Van Nostrand Memorial Award, which provides a stipend to the top senior player embarking on a professional career.
Sachire finished in the national top 40 in terms of singles rankings all four of his years at Notre Dame, helping the Irish to a combined 67-33 record, the 1999 BIG EAST title and four straight NCAA appearances. He twice was named the BIG EAST Championships MVP.
As a pro, Sachire won 16 tournament titles, 14 on the futures circuit.
During his six years as an assistant at Notre Dame, Sachire has helped the Irish to six straight NCAA appearances, two BIG EAST crowns and a number-six national ranking in 2007.
He's a 2000 Notre Dame graduate with a degree in economics.
Sachire and his wife Cindy (a 1999 Notre Dame graduate) are parents of two daughters, Anna and Emily.