The Pacific University Cross Country team added a new face to its coaching staff this year, with the addition of Bailee Cofer as new assistant coach.
Cofer graduated from Drake University last spring, a Division I program and was a decorated cross country and track athlete during her time there. Cofer was a captain for two years at Drake and received multiple honors for both her performances on the field and in the classroom.
With her experience as a captain, Cofer is confident she can help guide a young Cross Country team in the right direction.
“I gained a lot of experience in leadership and we had a young team when I was at Drake,” Cofer said. “I feel confident that I can relate to where the athletes are at and I am very responsive to what they are going through.”
When it comes to helping upperclassmen transition into leadership roles for the team, Cofer trusts them to be able to guide the team culture in a positive direction.
“As a coach, I watch the team culture develop and I try to ensure it is as positive as it can be, but it really comes down to the leadership skills of upperclassmen,” Cofer said. “All the upperclassmen have been awesome leaders so far. They have the ability to be really supportive to the underclassmen while still holding them to a competitive level of accountability.”
Though Cofer comes from a larger program than Pacific’s, she is excited to be working in Division III athletics.
“I am very fond of Division III,” Cofer said. “I think it is a level where you get athletes who truly want to get better at the sport. They are here without any incentive, except for personal growth and fulfillment.”
Cofer also enjoys Pacific and the feel of the community. “I really like Pacific,” Cofer said. “It reminds me of Drake. And Forest Grove reminds me of back home.” A native Kansan, Cofer said she has always wanted to move out west. And now she is here, she intends to stay.
“The team we have is really special,” Cofer said. “And I want to see out these freshmen’s four-year career.”