BC Coach Receives Fellowship, Spends Preseason With Jaguars
Last updated 8/25/2021 at 12:48pm
Brevard College Assistant Head Coach/ Special Teams Coordinator Martin Bayless has joined the Jacksonville Jaguars' NFL coaching staff for the 2021 Preseason as a recipient of the prestigious Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship. Bayless is working with the Jaguars throughout the month of August, while continuing to serve as a coach for the Brevard College Tornados football team.
"The selection of Coach Bayless represents a mutual benefit for the NFL and Brevard College," said Brevard College Head Coach Bill Khayat. "The Jacksonville Jaguars will enjoy having a coach of outstanding character and competency participating in their fellowship.
"Brevard, out of the many schools available, will enjoy the recognition of having one of our own chosen for this prestigious program. The Tornados will also benefit from any applicable knowledge Coach Bayless will be able to share from his experience."
Bayless was selected to join the Jaguars coaching staff as a 2021 recipient of the Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship.
The program's objective is to use NFL clubs' training camps, offseason workout programs and minicamps to give talented coaches opportunities to observe, participate and gain experience on the NFL level.
Bayless will collect this experience from an NFL training camp, then bring back his learnings to Brevard's coaches and players.
"I thank Coach Khayat for giving me this opportunity to go outside the box and bring something back that can help Brevard," said Bayless. "Everything that I am involved in is for one reason and that's for me to be able to learn and transfer those learnings back to Brevard. What I take away from this experience, from all the different teaching styles and coaches, I will be able to bring back to Brevard to help our staff."
In Jacksonville, Bayless is working with a coaching staff under the helm of Head Coach Urban Meyer. Prior to joining the Jaguars, Meyer accumu-lated a 187-32 record and a .854 winning percentage - the third-highest in college football history - during head coaching stints at Ohio State (2012-18), Florida (2005-10), Utah (2003-04) and Bowling Green (2001-02).
He is the only modern-day coach to win national championships in two different conferences (SEC in 2006 and 2008 at Florida and Big Ten in 2014 at Ohio State).
Bayless, an alumnus of Bowling Green, has built a relationship with Meyer since his first head coaching stint with the Falcons.
"Urban is a dynamic leader, teacher, and communicator," said Bayless. "He empowers every person, players, coaches, trainers, 'ReJuv' staff members and scouts in the organization to be the best version of themselves. He reminds me of a great man, leader and coach that I once played for as a member of the Kansas City Chiefs, the late Marty Schottenheimer."
"People will go 150% for a coach that they know cares about them on a personal level and that's Urban Meyer," continued Bayless. "He understands the 'Mindset & Behavior' of an elite competitor and empowers the players to reach their full potential every day. That competitive edge is 'The New Jaguar Mindset'."
In Jacksonville, Bayless is working primarily with the Jaguars' special teams and defensive coaches.
Those staffs include Assistant Head Coach/-Linebackers Coach Charlie Strong, Defensive Backs Coach Chris Ash and Senior Defensive Assistant Bob Sutton.
Strong comes to Jacksonville following a 38-year career in college football that included head coaching roles at Louisville, Texas and South Florida, while Ash had a 24-year college coaching career that included roles as head coach at Rutgers and defensive coordinator at Texas, Ohio State, Wisconsin and Arkansas. Sutton brings more than 40 years of coaching experience, including 21 seasons at the NFL level.
While Bayless is collecting NFL experience with Jacksonville, the veteran coach is still actively mentoring the younger members of Brevard's staff while coaching the Tornados through BC's own preseason.
"Being a mentor to the young coaches is one of my main responsibilities at Brevard," said Bayless, who has coached on the collegiate or professional level for the past 21 years. "Before I left for Jacksonville, I put together a playbook with all of our special teams installs for Jack Wellenhofer (BC's Assistant Special Teams Coordinator) and he has been doing a great job implementing it."
"I watch the video of practice every day and regularly talk to Coach Wellenhofer," continued Bayless. "I'm kind of wearing two hats. Every morning I get up and I look for that challenge. I look to improve myself every day and to learn from somebody else. I will come back to Brevard and will have even more tools to share with the young coaches and our players."
Bayless, who will return to Brevard following Jacksonville's preseason finale on Aug. 29, is extremely excited about the direction of the Brevard College football program. The Tornados will open their 2021 season on Sept. 4 at Shorter University in Rome, Georgia.
"We are working real hard to ensure that come November everyone is going to be very happy with the culture Coach Khayat has put in place," said Bayless. "Over the past few seasons you can see how it has developed and grown. This past season, the culture really spring-boarded and everyone was able to see what Coach Khayat's staff and what our team looks like.
"We are very excited about what is going to happen this fall and to get started playing on Sept. 4."
Bayless is entering his second season serving as the assistant head coach/special teams coordinator for the Brevard College football program. A former defensive back who played 13 seasons in the NFL with the Cardinals, Bills, Chargers, Chiefs and the Washington Football Team, he joined the Buffalo Bills in the front office in 2000 following his retirement as a player. Bayless then began his coaching career. which has included NFL experience with the Panthers, Raiders, Texans, Vikings, Broncos, Cardinals and Colts. Prior to his arrival at Brevard, Bayless was the special teams coordinator and safeties coach for the Los Angeles Wildcats of the XFL.
Bayless was a walk-on student-athlete that played college football for Bowling Green (1980-84).
He started at cornerback in 45 straight games at BGSU and was selected to the All Mid-American Conference (MAC) First-Team Defense for four consecutive seasons and was an Honorable Mention All-American his junior year followed by an All-American selection as a senior.
He finished his collegiate career as the NCAA Division I career leader in interceptions with 27.
Bayless added two more interceptions in the 1982 California Bowl victory over Fresno State and three more interceptions in the 1983 Blue-Gray Senior Invitational All Star game. He concluded his collegiate football career with a total of 32 interceptions.
Bayless was inducted into the Bowling Green State University Hall of Fame in 1989.