Phone: (412) 952-5341
Coach Samuel P. Bair, a native of Pittsburgh, is entering his third year of coaching for the Panthers. In his first season at Pitt, Coach Bair helped lead the men's cross country team to a seventh-place finish in the Big East Championships and a ninth place-finish at the NCAA Regional Championships. He also helped coach the women's cross country team to a seventh-place finish at the Big East Championships and an eighth-place finish at the NCAA Regional Championships. Coach Bair was integral in coaching the men's track and field team to a second-place finish in the 1,500 meters in both Indoor and Outdoor Big East Championships. Additionally in the 1,500 meters Coach Bair assisted the team in a second-place finish in the IC4A Outdoor Championships, two NCAA regional qualifiers and a sixth-place finish at the regional championships. Coach Bair's son Sam, also placed fourth in the Outdoor Big East Championships in the 1,500 meters.
Coach Bair was previously the track and field and cross country head coach at the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC), where he was named National Junior College Cross Country Coach of the year for five consecutive years. He produced three NJCAA Championship teams in 1973, 1976 and 1977, including five top runners who qualified for All-America honors. His teams have set more than two dozen national records, some of which still stand today. Coach Bair is also the former head coach of the Allegheny-Nike Running Club Bair has accomplished much as a track athlete, as well.
Representing Kent State University, Coach Bair was a seven-time NCAA All-American, and indoor and outdoor champion in the mile. In 1968 he was a cross country All-American. That same year, Bair placed 7th at the U.S. Olympic Trials, however his qualification for the team was hampered after being placed in the hospital for several days before the final trials with an intestinal infection. In 1971 Bair earned a spot on the number one ranked U.S. cross country team, the Florida Track Club, consisting of 1972 Olympic champion marathoner Frank Shorter, Olympic team marathoner Jack Bachelor, and Olympic team 10,000-meter runner, Jeff Galloway.
Continuing his incredible success as a runner, Coach Bair signed a professional contract with the International Track Association in 1973. Bair was inducted into the Westmorland Sports Hall of Fame in 1976 and Kent State University Sports Hall of Fame the following year. In 1977 he was initiated into the Pittsburgh Dapper Dan Hall of Fame (his plaque hangs in the Mellon Arena], and in 1995 he became a member of the Western Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.
Coach Bair graduated in 1969 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Physical Education from Kent State University. For over 30 years he has been a professor of Health and Physical Education at CCAC. Coach Bair is married to wife, Arlene, and they have a daughter, Alyson, and a son, Sam, who is a distance runner for the Panthers.
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