Sports Executive and Author



Waukegan High School
Rick grew up in Waukegan, Illinois.  In high school, he competed in football, wrestling and baseball, and was the Illinois High School Athlete of the Year as a senior.  He graduated with a 3.9 grade point average.  He was a three-time state wrestling champion, an all-state quarterback in football and an All-Chicago area baseball player.  He won ten varsity letters, breaking the legendary Otto Graham's record of nine.  In March of 2000, he was one of 30 athletes selected to the Chicago Tribune's All Century Illinois High School Wrestling Team.
Mike, Rick and Steve Bay with Coach Ott Bay
His father, Ott, was the high school football and wrestling coach and his stepmother was an English teacher.  Ott Bay, who died prematurely at the age of 45, started the wrestling program at Waukegan and during his 17-year reign, his teams finished either first or second in the state tournament eight times. 

He coached each of his three sons (including Rick) to individual state titles, and all four men have been inducted into the Illinois High School Coaches Association Wrestling Hall of Fame.  In 1997, Ott Bay was posthumously honored as a recipient of “The Lifetime Achievement Award for Coaching” by the United States Wrestling Hall of Fame. 

The University of Michigan

Rick attended the University of Michigan on a wrestling scholarship and he also played football for the Wolverines. 

It was as a wrestler that he excelled, however, winning two Big Ten titles and gaining All-American recognition as a junior.  He was unbeaten in three years of Big Ten dual meet competition and was named Big Ten 'Wrestler of the Year' as a senior.  He graduated from Michigan in 1965 with a degree in Liberal Arts.  He also spent one summer as a student at the University of Michigan Law School, while serving as the Wolverines assistant wrestling coach.


Following graduation, Rick served in the United States Marine Corps Reserve and then became assistant wrestling coach at Michigan.  After four years in that role, he was named head coach.  As head coach, he directed his teams to a combined record of 43-5-3, including a 31-2-2 mark in the Big Ten.  His 1973 team was the Big Ten champion, and his 1974 squad was runner-up in the NCAA.  Rick was named the nation's 'Coach of the Year' in 1974.


Rick left coaching after the 1974 season to work for the University of Michigan Alumni Association, and later became an associate executive director.  In 1978, the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education selected the Michigan Alumni Association as the most outstanding organization of its kind in the country.  In 1980, Bay coordinated the fundraising campaign and wrote the building program for the new award winning University of Michigan Alumni Center.


While at Michigan, Rick maintained his avid interest in commercial broadcasting.  He did color commentary for Michigan football and was also a theater critic for a local Ann Arbor radio station.  


Coach Bay with Big 10 Champs

Coach Bay with Big 10 Champs
Tom Quinn (left), Jarrett Hubbard (right) 


Header photo:  As a Wolverine player in 1963,
Rick carries the football in a game against SMU in Michigan Stadium

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