PUEBLO, Colo. (Aug. 17, 2018) - Colorado State University-Pueblo Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Dr. Paul Plinske has elevated Bailey Hughes from assistant to head coach of the CSU-Pueblo Women's Cross Country program. Hughes will remain the assistant coach of both the men's and women's track and field programs.
"Since 2013, Bailey has been an integral part of the success of the women's program and has helped move it forward as an athlete, captain and coach," said CSU-Pueblo Head Men's Cross Country and Men's and Women's Track and Field Coach Matt Morris. "The high level of energy she brings is vital to continuing to grow this program. Last year, Bailey came in and did all the right things administratively and as a member of the coaching staff and deserves the opportunity to lead the women's cross country program."
Hughes joined the staff after competing as a student-athlete where she was a national qualifier four times and competed at two NCAA Cross Country National Championships and two NCAA Indoor National Championships. As a coach in 2017-18, the men's cross country/track and field programs finished fourth on the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association of America Best Program list. In the three seasons, the women's program totaled five national qualifiers and added two outdoor All-Americans last year.
"Bailey has risen quickly in our profession as a passionate, trusted and knowledgeable leader," Dr. Plinske said. "It is an honor to name her as our head women's cross country coach. She is a fantastic individual who will be a tremendous role model to our student-athletes. I'm a believer in elevating highly capable women in our profession and this brings us closer with five female head coaches in our Athletics Department. Bailey will do a fantastic job and I'm excited to watch her flourish as a valuable member of our team."
Hughes' promotion to head coach is effective immediately, as she prepares the team for the opening meet, Sept. 8 at the Colorado College Invitational in Colorado Springs.
"I'm really excited and honored for the opportunity to lead this program," Hughes said. "I know that I am young and have a lot to learn, but I also have a lot of enthusiasm and experience to bring to the team. I have recent, first-hand experience of being a student-athlete. A benefit of that is I can run with the team to help with pace and I've competed at most of the courses we will see this season. Our team this year is young and I think it is important that I can relate so closely to being nervous and scared and can help them through those emotions."
Hughes holds school records in the mile, 3,000 meter, and was a member of the school record DMR team. Hughes also holds the 10,000m outdoor school record. Hughes was named RMAC Runner of the Week several times and was all-conference for the RMAC twice for cross county and six times for track and field. She also gathered multiple academic honors, including CoSIDA Academic All-District.
Hughes attended Carroll College for one year and then transferred to CSU-Pueblo to complete her undergraduate and graduate degrees. As a freshman at Carroll, Hughes was an NAIA All-American in the mile indoors (5th), the DMR (8th), and the 1500 meters outdoor (7th).
She graduated with a bachelors in education and was also recognized as the Threlkeld Award of Excellence (top graduating senior at CSU-Pueblo) winner upon graduating. She completed her master's degree for instructional technology in education in December 2017.
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As a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, Colorado State University – Pueblo competes in 22 varsity sports in NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletics.