April 9, 2008
Los Angeles, CA (April 9) -- Loyola Marymount University Athletics Director Dr. William Husak formally announced during a press conference at Gersten Pavilion Wednesday, April 9, that Bill Bayno has signed a five-year contract as head coach of the men's basketball program. Bayno, who was with the Portland Trail Blazers organization since 2004, becomes the 24th head coach of the Lions' program.
"It just felt like family at LMU," said Bayno, 45. "With this job there are certainly some challenges, but I wasn't going to do this and get back into the college game and all that entails unless I was around good people. I can't say enough about the people on this campus. They made me feel like it was home. The people I met here had a lot to do with the decision to come here."
The feeling of family is what impressed LMU about Bayno as well. "A big thing that really impressed me, never have I seen one person have so many people deeply care about an individual," said Husak. "Bill has a lot of friends who love him and care about him and want to see him become successful as a head basketball coach. The relationships that he has with people is truly impressive."
For the past five years, Bayno has been a member of the Portland Trail Blazers' staff, becoming instrumental in their development. "Bill is the right person to be at LMU. He is a great recruiter, his reputation for player development is extremely strong, and he has the energy to make those around him better. I think his pro experience and his reputation in developing players and the relationships he has with them is quite evident," said Husak. "LMU is anxious to go ahead and return to a role of prominence in collegiate basketball. Bill Bayno is the guy to get us there."
The 2007-08 season marked Bayno's second as an assistant coach on the Trail Blazers' bench. Prior to 2006-07, Bayno served for two years as an international and collegiate scout for the organization. Before to joining the club, he was the head coach of the 2003 CBA Champion Yakama Sun Kings for one-and-a-half seasons (2002-03). In 2002, as the head coach of Talk `n Text of the Philippine Professional Basketball Association, Bayno won the regular season title and led his team to the final round of the playoffs where they lost in the final game. Former Trail Blazer Richie Frahm was also a member of that team.
"Bill Bayno has been invaluable to our organization," said Portland Trail Blazers' General Manager Kevin Pritchard. "Bill's communication skills are off the charts. I think that's the No. 1 thing that he does very well. He's got a great emotional intelligence. I don't know if you replace a guy like Bill. You do your best, but he brought a unique set of skills that I'm not sure one person could replace."
The New York native also experienced success as the head coach at UNLV for five-plus seasons. Bayno's Runnin' Rebels won four conference championships (two regular season and two conference tournament) and earned four postseason berths. Bayno, who was hired at UNLV on March 30, 1995, and at the time he was the youngest head coach of an NCAA Division I program at 32, had a career record of 94-64 (.596).
In his final full season at UNLV, the 1999-00 Runnin' Rebels recorded a 23-8 overall record and were the inaugural Mountain West Conference champions. The team was 10-4 in the league to tie for first place and won the conference tournament, earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The conference tournament title was UNLV's second under Bayno's direction. For his efforts, Bayno was presented with the 2000 MWC Co-Coach of the Year award.
In 1998-99, UNLV, who was a member of three different conferences during Bayno's tenure, was the WAC Mountain Division co-champions and advanced to the NIT First Round. In 1997-98, UNLV compiled an overall record of 20-13, which included a remarkable run in the WAC Tournament as the Rebels won four games in five days to capture the title and the automatic bid to the big dance, which marked their first appearance since the 1990-91 season. UNLV compiled an overall record of 22-10 during Bayno's second season in 1996-97. The 22 wins more than doubled his first season's win total and were the most since the 1991-92 season. UNLV made the third round of the 1997 NIT, which marked the program's first postseason appearance since the 1992-93 season.
Bayno came to UNLV from the University of Massachusetts, where he served seven years as the associate coach at UMass (1988-95) under then-head coach John Calipari. He played a major role in UMass' rise to national prominence as the Minutemen made five consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament, advancing to the 1995 regional finals.
Bayno attended UMass from 1980-82 and played guard under both Ray Wilson and Tom McLaughlin. He finished his collegiate days at Sacred Heart in Fairfield, Conn. While playing for the Pioneers, he earned Division II All-America honors and participated in two NCAA Tournaments. Following graduation from Sacred Heart in 1985, he was invited to participate in the 1985 New York Knicks rookie camp as a free agent.
He started his collegiate coaching career as P.J. Carlesimo's first graduate assistant at Seton Hall. In 1987, he joined Larry Brown's staff and helped take Kansas to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen. At Kansas, Bayno served as a graduate assistant coach.After the 1987 season, he left Kansas to become the top assistant at Baptist College in Charleston, S.C. (now known as Charleston Southern), where he remained for a year under Gary Edwards.
In high school, Bayno was an all-county, all-city and "Daily News" all-star selection at John S. Burke Catholic High School. He is a native of Goshen, New York, and is the father of two foster children from Las Vegas, Betty and Semaj Butler.