After being an assistant coach for back-to-back conference championship-winning teams, Priscilla Bayley was promoted to Head Women’s Cross Country Coach at Cal Poly in 2017.
“I would really like to thank Don Oberhelman and Mark Conover for their trust in me to lead the women’s cross country program,” she said. “I’m beyond grateful for the opportunity to do what I love most while being surrounded by incredible people. Most of all, I’m eager to continue building upon the excellent tradition that is synonymous with Cal Poly cross country.”
Bayley joined the Mustangs as an assistant 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 before repeating in 2016.
The 2015 team won the championship with a score of 39 points (20 ahead of UC Santa Barbara for the squad’s largest margin of victory at the event since 2001) before the 2016 team won 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 joining the Big West in 1996).
The fall of 2016 also saw then-sophomore Peyton Bilo earn All-American honors with a 23rd-place finish at the NCAA Championships, and the team earned USTFCCCA All-Academic status for a sixth straight year.
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 and 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.