Ron Bazil, one of the most experienced coaches in collegiate track and field, is in his fifth year as head coach of the Tulane track and cross country programs, and his work continues to make an impact on the track and field community.
In his first four years Bazil has elevated the Tulane track and field team into a nationally prominent program. Since his arrival in 1995, Tulane's record of achievement in track and field has steadily grown. Bazil has already produced eight All-Americans, 16 NCAA national qualifiers, a distance medley relay and a sprint medley relay team ranked in the top-10 nationally, 31 individual Conference USA champions, the 1996 Conference USA Freshman of the Year in cross country, and the Outstanding Performer at the Conference USA Indoor Championship in 1997. His athletes have also rewritten the Tulane record books by establishing 38 new school records. The 1998 season saw seven of Bazil's student-athletes qualify for the NCAA Championships and set 14 new school records. Included in that group was Hanne Lyngstad, an indoor and outdoor All-American and the 1998 Conference USA Outdoor Athlete of the Year. Bazil's guiding force has taken Tulane's program to unprecedented levels. His winning philosophy has already left and incredible mark on the history of Tulane track and field.
Perhaps Bazil's greatest accomplishment came during the 1998 cross country season. He guided the Green Wave men to four team titles during the season and qualified as a group to the NCAA Cross Country Championships for the first time in school history by virtue of a runner-up finish to eventual National Champion Arkansas in the South Central District Championships. He also had an individual qualifier on the women's side. For his efforts, he was named the 1998 Louisiana Cross Country Coach of the Year.
The success continued for Bazil and the Green Wave in 1999. He guided the Tulane women to a sweep of the 1999 Conference USA Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field Championships, and its best finish ever at the NCAA Indoor Championships (16th). Along the way, seven Tulane women earned All-America honors and 14 new school records were set. Tulane also captured its first "Championship of Americas" victory at the historic Penn Relay Carnival in Philadelphia. Prior to 1999, Tulane had won only one team championship in its history.
In the fall of 1998, Bazil guided the men's cross country team to its first-ever berth in the NCAA Cross Country Championships and sent a woman to the Championships for the first time in school history as well.
Bazil captured four Coach-of-the-Year awards last season. He was named Conference USA women's indoor and outdoor track and field coach of the year, as well as Louisiana Sports Writers Association men's cross country and women's track and field accolades.
Prior to coming to Tulane, Bazil had forged his winning formula during his 16 years as the head coach of the cross country and track and teams of the US Military Academy at West Point. During his tenure at Army, Bazil molded his men's and women's teams into nationally competitive programs.
Army men were introduced to the Patriot League in the spring of 1992, and the cross country team took home the title in the fall of 1993. They went on to take sixth at the NCAA championships that year, and Bazil also took home the District II NCAA Men's Cross Country Coach of the Year title.
Both the men's and women's cross country teams took home Patriot League championship titles in the fall of 1994, and the men came into the 1995 season with a 12-race winning streak behind them. For that effort Bazil was again named Patriot League Coach of the Year. He held Patriot League coaching honors every season from 1992-95.
The men's indoor track team went undefeated with a 5-0 record in 1994, and the outdoor team checked off their third straight league championship. Bazil left Army with a combined track and cross country career record of 304-116-2 for dual meets and 13 conference championships.
Bazil's tradition for excellence extends far beyond his West Point career. Before he joined the Military Academy, he spent 10 seasons at Adelphi University, including seven years as athletic director. In 1972, his team established world records for the mile relay on two consecutive weekends. In 1972 and 1974, he was honored as district indoor track coach of the year. Bazil has also served as a member of the NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Track and Field Committee and has also coached on the international circuit for a quarter-century.
His first major international assignment came in 1971 when he coached the U.S. team in a dual indoor meet against the Soviet Union. Since then, his accomplishments multiplied.
He was an assistant coach when the United States met the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, Pan Africa and Germany in 1975. In 1982, he coached a U.S. team that faced England, Australia and Sweden. In 1986 he was a head coach at the U.S. Olympic Festival in Houston, and three years later, he was in Birmingham, England, heading up a U.S. effort against the Soviet Union, England and West Germany.
In 1991, he was again on the Olympic Festival staff, where he coached the East team, and also coached the U.S. men's team against Russia and Japan in Yokohama. Most recently, Bazil served as an assistant coach for the U.S. team at the 1995 World Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden.
He has already gained recognition at Tulane, as he was named the 1995 Louisiana Cross Country Coach of the Year. Bazil is a graduate of Springfield (Mass.) College, earning his bachelor's degree in 1958. In 1964 he completed his master's in health, physical education and recreation at Brooklyn College.
Bazil and his wife, Bonnie, have been married for 36 years. They have two children: Tami, a graduate of Stanford, and Lance, a graduate of Adelphi University.