Effective and unassuming leader serving the growth of lacrosse, devoted advocate for girls’ lacrosse in metropolitan Washington, DC, high school and youth official, Yale University graduate, pioneer and active promoter of girls’ high school and youth lacrosse in northern Virginia.
William Bayfield never played the sport of lacrosse. His contributions to girl’s lacrosse were essential to the expansion of the sport in northern Virginia.
He grew up in the Washington, DC area and attended Landon before the school even fielded a lacrosse team. His first love was golf, and he competed on the varsity team at Yale. Bill earned a graduate business degree at Wharton and spent his entire professional career with IBM. When he returned to work in the Washington area in 1987, the lacrosse bug bit his younger daughter Heather. She in turn infected her parents.
Bill and his wife, Ouida, were instrumental from the outset in establishing the Robinson girls’ lacrosse team in 1989. Working steadfastly, with patience and diplomacy, Bill was not content simply putting together a team for his daughter. That first year, four northern Virginia public schools fielded teams. The following year, two more teams were added, then four the year after. By 1992, there were 16 teams – girls’ and boys’ high school teams playing in the northern region. The determination and persistence of Bill and others won out in 1993, as lacrosse was approved as a varsity sport in the public high schools. That decision seems obvious today but at the time, it was very much in question.
It wasn’t long before Bill turned his attention to the greatest need of rapid lacrosse expansion: officiating. He learned the game on the field and served as an umpire for local high school and youth contests from 1992-98. In addition, Bill took up coaching youth lacrosse and put together all-star youth teams to compete at the state, national, and international levels.
When retirement took Bill and Ouida to the deep south, he did not retire from lacrosse. He continued to officiate, earning his district certification in 2001; and to coach, helping his high school team to the South Carolina state championship for three successive years. In the past year, Bill helped to organize the Savannah Lacrosse Club and is coaching the start-up girls’ high school team.
Bill has stayed involved with the sport because he has wanted to pay back all that he and his family have benefited from the sport. His daughter became the first all-Met player from a northern Virginia public school, was captain of her college lacrosse team, and received academic All-American honors. He has since found, however, that his continued involvement will never pay off the “debt,” as the returns to him keep piling up faster than he can give.
Bill and his wife Ouida reside in Savannah, Georgia. They have two adult children, Heidi and Heather, and two grandchildren born in 2004.