2018-19 Big West Conference
Women’s XC Coach of the Year
After assistant coaching for back-to-back conference championship-winning teams, Priscilla Bayley was promoted to Head Women’s Cross Country Coach at Cal Poly in August of 2017.
Cal Poly returned to the podium stand at the conference championships in the fall of 2018, winning the Big West trophy with 33 points, led by a course-record showing by medalist Miranda Daschian, who along with teammate Katie Izzo went on to advance to the NCAA Championships in Wisconsin.
At the national finals in the snow in Madison, Izzo took 82nd place and Daschian finished 112th, leading up to a spring in which both women also advanced to the NCAA Championship 1st Round (in the 5,000 and 1,500 meters).
Also in 2018-19, the Mustang women’s squad earned USTFCCCA All-Academic status for an eighth straight year, and Daschian was selected as the university’s Big West Scholar-Athlete of the Year honored at a banquet in Anaheim along with 17 fellow recipients of the award selected from 2,500 student-athletes.
Bayley joined the Mustangs as an assistant coach in the summer of 2014 after spending the previous three years as the women’s distance coach/recruiting coordinator at Harvard. Following a runner-up finish for the women’s team at the 2014 Big West Championships, Cal Poly regained the title in 2015 in Bayley’s second year in San Luis Obispo, before emphatically repeating in 2016.
Bayley’s 2016 squad collected as many as 13 votes in the national Top 25 coaches poll, moving as high as No. 36 in the NCAA rankings. The team won the championship on the shores of Hawaii with 27 points (45 up on UC Davis) for the largest margin of victory throughout the entire conference since 2006 (as well as the women’s team’s best score at the meet since the university joined the Big West in 1996).
The fall of 2016 also saw Peyton Bilo earn All-American honors with a 23rd-place finish at the NCAA Championships. Bilo would also take home All-America status in the spring of 2017 in the 5,000m at the NCAA Finals at Oregon on ESPN, wrapping a banner season in which she came within less than two seconds of topping a school record standing for 34 years.
Bilo was Bayley’s second All-American at Cal Poly, as Ashley Windsor made the Second Team in the NCAA Finals after a career-best 1,500m effort of 4:15.90 in 2015.
In November 2013, Bayley led Harvard to its first national ranking, at No. 27. That came a season after another milestone, when the Crimson qualified for their first NCAA Championship meet on a team basis since 1983. In track, Harvard also won back-to-back indoor Ivy League titles in 2013 & 2014, as well as the outdoor championship in the latter year.
Including track events, Bayley’s mid-distance and distance runners (a group that included two All-Northeast Region honorees) broke more than 10 school records.
Prior to her time in Cambridge, Bayley was an assistant coach at Santa Clara, where she mentored a trio of Broncos to All-West Coast Conference accolades. She also served as an assistant at Saint Mary’s in 2009-10.
Before moving back into the collegiate ranks, she began her coaching career in 2006 with the Buffalo Chips Running Team in Sacramento. From 2008-13, Bayley also was the Elite Athlete Coordinator for the California International Marathon, which qualified 25 women and eight men for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials.
As an all-conference runner at UC Davis, Bayley was a scoring member of the Aggies’ 10th-place team at the 2002 NCAA Championships, and in 2004 she earned the university’s Outstanding Senior Leader Award.
She graduated from UC Davis in 2004 as a double-major in Communication and Chicano Studies, with an emphasis on Social and Public Policy.
Bayley has also earned certification for Level 5 Elite Coach Status from the IAAF and Level 3 for Endurance from USATF.