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Thursday, 14 August 2014 00:00

Byers Steps into Interim Head Coach Role

BALDWIN CITY, Kan. – Baker University director of athletics Theresa Yetmar announced today that assistant coach Tim Byers will now step into the role of Interim Head Cross Country and Track and Field Coach, effectively immediately after the sudden passing of former head coach Zach Kindler.

The athletic department will schedule events in the near future to honor Kindler and his family. Those events will be posted at www.bakerwildcats.com as they become available.

Kindler hired Coach Byers in mid-July to serve as the full-time assistant coach of both programs.

"We are still grieving the loss of our friend and colleague," Yetmar said. "Zach leaves behind a legacy of excellence that will remain a cornerstone of our programs moving forward."

"Zach identified Tim as our new full-time assistant coach because he knew that Tim is a man of character, a proven winner, and someone who shared his vision for the future of our programs. Tim has gracefully accepted this role of interim head coach with the primary focus of taking care of our student-athletes."

Byers has coached at many collegiate levels, including NAIA, NCAA Division I, NCAA Division II and D-III.

He has also served as the head track and field coach at Ottawa University (Kan.) and Simpson College (Iowa).

In his 19 years as a collegiate cross country and track coach, Byers has been a part of 19 conference championships, led 266 NAIA/NCAA conference players, 25 NAIA/NCAA conference champions, 87 NAIA/NCAA national qualifiers, 19 NAIA/NCAA All-Americans and one NCAA national champion in the women's javelin.

"Words cannot express the sorrow I have in my heart for Zach and his family after this tragic event," said Byers. "I have known Zach for several years through the coaching profession. He was an honored colleague and coaching friend. I was very excited when he hired me to coach with him and be a part of the Baker University Cross Country and Track & Field family.

"He has built a rich tradition here at Baker and I will do everything in my power to carry on his legacy. He will be missed by all the lives he touched on and off the track."

University President Lynne Murray and her leadership team have expressed confidence in Byers' ability to continue the upward trajectory of Baker's decorated programs.

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