STAUNTON, Va. -- Mary Baldwin University has named Michael Bair as head coach for the men's soccer program, which this fall is set to begin the first season of varsity play in university history.
"Coach Bair joins us at a significant time, as several MBU men's teams begin competing in the NCAA Division III and the USA South Athletic Conference," said Vice President for Student Engagement Ernest Jeffries. "I'm confident his depth in soccer skills, coaching and recruiting and his collaborative nature will grow our men's soccer program aligned with our university's vision, mission, and goals."
Bair comes to MBU after nine seasons as the assistant coach for the men's soccer team at Geneva College in Pennsylvania, also NCAA DIII.
"It's an honor to be named the head coach of MBU men's soccer," Bair said. "Mary Baldwin is a distinctive small university with an impressive history, and I want to thank Dr. Jeffries for giving me the opportunity to lead its new NCAA Division III men's soccer program."
Since 2010, Bair was an integral part of effectively recruiting classes that contributed to Geneva's nine-‐year record of 109-‐49-‐25 (.664), and he helped lead the Golden Tornadoes to consistent post-‐season play, including the Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) semifinals and higher for six straight years. Other features of his competitive record are a PAC Tournament title, one NCAA Tournament appearance, and one Eastern College Athletic Conference Division III semifinal appearance.
Bair coached multiple team members who were named all-region and all-‐conference teams, and most recently, 10 Golden Tornadoes earned spots on the PAC Academic Honor Roll. The National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) honored Bair and the Geneva men's soccer coaching staff as a Regional Coaching Staff of the Year in 2016.
Bair follows Robert "Bob" Rose who recruited two classes for MBU's first-‐ever men's soccer team while managing the construction of SMA Worth Field and an overhaul of the university's Physical Activities Center. The players were competitive and cohesive on the field and in the classroom, and several set the example as scholar-‐athletes last year with grade point averages of 3.5 and above.
"The players are motivated to be competitive in the conference right away, and so am I," Bair said. "I am excited to build something special with this great group of student-‐athletes."
Bair has also been active in Western Pennsylvania's club soccer community, coaching U10 through U19 teams for the past eight years. Since 2017, he's also been a head coach of the Pennsylvania West Olympic Development Program.
Bair holds a United Soccer Coaches (formerly NSCAA) National Diploma as well as Goalkeeping Level I and II Diplomas. He earned his master of arts in higher education and bachelor of science in business administration from Geneva College where he also played collegiate soccer.
The Fighting Squirrels open their first NCAA soccer season on Aug. 30 at Shenandoah before starting their home slate on Sept. 14 against Maryville. The women's team will open SMA Worth Field on Sept. 4 against Hollins University, which is slated to begin at 5 pm.
MBU thanks Brig. Gen. Teresa Djuric, commandant of cadets for the Virginia Women's Institute for Leadership, who led the head coach search committee consisting of faculty, staff, and returning players.