Bayer Steps Down as ATU Volleyball Coach

After 14 seasons and 364 victories at the helm of the Arkansas Tech University Golden Suns volleyball program, Kristy Bayer, the all-time winningest coach in the history of the program, has announced her resignation.

ATU Director of Athletics Steve Mullins made the announcement on Wednesday, Dec. 6.

Bayer departs Arkansas Tech to accept an administrative position at Emporia State University.

“I have had the opportunity to work in my dream job for the last 14 years,” said Bayer. “I have worked under two brilliant presidents in Dr. (Robert C.) Brown and Dr. (Robin E.) Bowen, who have supported me personally, and have provided the tools for professional success at Arkansas Tech. I will forever be indebted to Coach Mullins. He has mentored me and encouraged my leadership development. I have learned from the best here at Arkansas Tech. I want to thank the river valley community and the campus community for embracing me, my family and my sport. Your support has meant everything. And lastly, I want to thank my current athletes and past athletes. You have made my job fun, and we have created memories to last a lifetime.”

Bayer’s 14 years at Arkansas Tech marked a period of continuous improvement for the Golden Suns volleyball program. After finishing 13-17 in her first season in Russellville, Bayer reeled off a streak of 13 consecutive winning seasons, eclipsing the 30-win mark four times.

Her teams won Gulf South Conference West Division titles in 2008 and 2010, Great American Conference regular season championships in 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2017 and GAC Tournament titles in 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2017. She led the Suns to four NCAA Division II Tournament appearances.

Bayer earned five conference coach of the year honors, and she was named the 2017 NCAA Division II Central Region coach of the year after guiding the Golden Suns to a 35-1 mark in her final season.

Off the court, Bayer served as Arkansas Tech’s associate athletic director and senior woman administrator, and has been highly active within intercollegiate athletics, with service on numerous campus, regional, and national committees.

“Coach Bayer’s record of success on the volleyball court is unmatched in the history of our institution,” said Dr. Robin E. Bowen, ATU president. “We will always fondly remember the victories and the championships, but her most lasting legacy will be the positive influence she had on the student-athletes in her program. There are dozens of outstanding ATU alumnae achieving their goals in a variety of endeavors who at least a portion of their success to what they learned from Coach Bayer. We will miss her passion, her leadership, and her fight on spirit. We wish Coach Bayer, her husband B.J. and their family the very best.”

A national search will to name coach Bayer’s successor will begin immediately.

News release provided by ATU Office of Athletic Communications.

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