Daily Dawg Thread: December 11, 2023

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Daily Dawg Thread: December 11, 2023

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T&F: Georgia track & field program has added Ryan Baily as assistant coach

The Georgia track & field program has added Ryan Baily as assistant coach, according to announcement from Bulldog Director of Track & Field Caryl Smith Gilbert.

Baily will coach multi-event athletes, pole vaulters and jumpers at Georgia after serving in the same role at Colorado State. The Scottsbluff, Neb., left a strong impact at CSU, helping coach multiple Rams to a combined 19 school records, 23 Mountain West individual titles, eight All-America honors and two Honorable Mention All-America honors.





Baily is replacing James Thomas, who recently took the head coaching position at Oklahoma.

“I’m excited to announce the addition of Coach Baily to our staff,” said Smith Gilbert.  “He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our program, and we are excited that he can start immediately with the season on the near horizon.  We look forward to having Coach Baily and his family in Athens.”

“I want to thank Coach Caryl Smith Gilbert and the University of Georgia for this amazing opportunity,” said Baily.  “I’m excited to support Coach Caryl’s vision and serve the student-athletes to the best of my abilities.  GO DAWGS!”





During the 2022-2023 season, Baily guided a sweep of the indoor multis at the Mountain West Championships as Lexie Keller won the pentathlon with a score of 4,306 and Drew Thompson won the heptathlon with 5,281 points.  Keller went on to earn her third All-American honor in the pentathlon at the 2023 NCAA Indoor Championships.  Thompson won the outdoor decathlon championship as well, scoring a lifetime best of 7,338. 

Baily also guided Sharde Johnson to a first-place finish in the high jump (1.73 meters/5 feet, 8 inches) at the Mountain West Outdoor Championships.  Keller concluded her season at the USA National Championships in Eugene, Ore., where she finished in 10th place and earned an invitation to compete for Team USA in the Thorpe Cup.  

In 2021-22, Baily helped coach a number of athletes to both school records and championships.  Eldridge Harris broke the school record for outdoor pole vault (5.19m/17-0.25) to win the Mountain West Championship and Celyn Stermer broke the school record for indoor pole vault (4.12m/13-6.25).  Allam Bushara broke the school record for indoor triple jump (16.07m/52-8.75) en route to an Indoor Mountain West Championship in the event. 

Baily also coached Keller to a third-place finish in the heptathlon at the Indoor NCAA Championships and sixth in the Outdoor NCAA Championships.  Keller also won the heptathlon while setting a new meet record at the Mountain West Championship meet (5,834) and set new school records as she recorded the second-best heptathlon and pentathlon in conference history. 

The 2018-19 campaign brought a flurry of accolades.  Hunter Powell won indoor heptathlon and outdoor decathlon in the Mountain West Conference, totaling five in six seasons.  Powell also qualified for the NCAA Championships in the decathlon.  MaryBeth Sant broke school records in both the 60-meter dash (7.18) and 100m (11.41), while finishing fifth in the 60m at the Milrose Games among professional athletes.  She also led off CSU’s first-ever 4x100m All-American Relay.  Nick Kravec capped his career off with a runner-up to Powell at the MWC Championships.  The Rams’ decathlon squad finished the year as the top-ranked decathlon team in the NCAA.

Among the highlights for Baily’s athletes in 2017-18 was the performance of high jumper Autumn Gardner, who cleared 1.84m/6-0.5 to break CSU’s previous program record at the NoCo Challenge.  That performance ranked Gardner sixth in Mountain West history in the event and distinguished her as one of five high jumpers in the conference to leap higher than six feet that decade.  In addition, Gardner finished as the NCAA’s No. 8-ranked performer in the event in 2018.

Under Baily’s guidance, the Rams experienced one of the most successful stretches in the combined events in program history.  During the 2016-17 indoor season, Hunter Price shattered the Mountain West and CSU records in the heptathlon, scoring 5,906 at the CSM Alumni Classic & Multis.  Price broke his own records again at the NCAA Indoor Championships, piling up 5,996 points to place fourth and earn First-Team All-America status.  No other heptathlete in MW history has finished as high as Price at the NCAA Indoor Championships.

The 2016-17 season continued with more success from Baily’s combined events athletes, as Josh Cogdill earned Second-Team All-America honors and Price earned Honorable Mention honors at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.  Cogdill placed 16th at the national meet, marking the highest finish for a CSU decathlete since 1982 (John Harrell – 10th).  During the outdoor season, Price broke the CSU record and set the No. 2 all-time mark in conference history with a score of 7,801 in the elite invitational section of the Mt. SAC/California Invitational Combined Events.

Among Baily’s top multi-event athletes at CSU was Jessica Green, who placed 22nd in the heptathlon (5,032 points) at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.  With her performance, Green became the first CSU athlete to earn any level of All-America honors in the women’s heptathlon since 2008.  Baily also coached an All-American in his first season at CSU, guiding Justin Green to Second Team honors (11th place – 5,348 points) in 2015.

Prior to his time at Colorado State, Baily was the head track & field and cross country coach at Chadron State.  In his five years at Chadron State, Baily’s men’s team placed as high as ninth nationally in indoor track & field and 16th nationally in outdoor track & field.  Baily’s Chadron State teams broke 18 men’s and 22 women’s school records and featured 22 All-Americans and a Division II national champion.  His teams were also honored for their work in the classroom, as his men’s team earned the USTFCCCA’s Scholar Team of the Year award in 2011.

Baily has been recognized for his teams’ accomplishments several times and was a seven-time Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Coach of the Year.  Baily earned honors as recently as in 2013 (men’s outdoor), also earning that honor twice in 2011 (women’s indoor, women’s outdoor) as well as in 2010 (men’s indoor).

While the head coach at Western State (2005-09), Baily earned that same honor in 2008 (men’s indoor) and twice in 2007 (women’s outdoor, men’s outdoor).  Additionally, Baily was named the USTFCCCA North Central Regional Coach of the Year in 2008. A mong the top performances by his Western State squads was its showing at the 2007 RMAC Outdoor Championships, where each of his women’s and men’s teams placed second.

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Greg is closing in on 15 years writing about and photographing UGA sports. While often wrong and/or out of focus, it has been a long, strange trip full of fun and new friends.