Head Varsity Basketball Coach Jim Comarata has over 20 years of basketball coaching and training experience with area grade schools including St. James, St. Ignatius, St. Jude, Queen of Peace, St. Margaret of York, and Sacred Heart. He has also coached several grade school and high school level AAU teams. He will begin his first season coaching the Mercy McAuley Wolves in 2022-23!
Coach Tim Bley has 12 years of experience coaching high school cross country and distance track and field, as well as high school classroom experience. In addition to over 38 years as an avid runner, Coach Bley is a certified personal trainer who has helped train athletes to run distance road races, and he has personally competed in 13 marathons.
Coach Bley is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati, with a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and a Master of Arts in Education from the College of Mount Saint Joseph. He is also a Cincinnati Police officer who has had leadership roles in fitness training for the Police Academy and the Cincinnati Police department. Coach Bley and his family are active members of St. Jude parish, and his family has a strong commitment to Mercy education and the Mercy McAuley community.
Coach Kelly Bayalan is a Lead Dance Instructor at Emerge Dance Academy, where she enjoys teaching all ages. She designs outreach programs through Emerge and has been working as a lead instructor at Emerge for the past six years, with a total of about 14 years experience teaching dance.
She has a significant amount of experience in dance competition, both as an instructor and participant. She was a member of the dance team in high school and as a student at Mount Saint Joseph. Coach Fay is excited to build and begin a dance program at Mercy McAuley High School. She is a graduate of Mount Saint Joseph University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication.
During Mercy McAuley's inaugural season, Coach Ernie Petrie led the team in qualifying for Districts, and he was also named GGCL Coach of the Year. Prior to joining the coaching staff at Mercy McAuley, Coach Petrie served as McAuley’s varsity head coach for 21 years and as the JV coach for 20 years. Under his leadership, McAuley’s golf team had 19 winning seasons and ranked in the Top 10 of the coaches poll for 19 of 21 years. Coach Petrie's team earned GGCL Co-Champ and Coach of the Year titles in 2007. In 2015, one of his players qualified as an individual at the state competition, and the team qualified for the state tournament in 2016. His teams have qualified for the GGCL District tournament for 11 years, and four players qualified as individuals in other years. Several of his players have been named to the GGCL All-Star team each year.
During Mercy McAuley's inaugural 2018-19 season, Coach Gordon Benning led the team in finishing second in the GGCL. Prior to joining the coaching staff at Mercy McAuley, Coach Benning served as McAuley High School’s track and field varsity coach during the 2017-18 school year. During this season, his track & field athletes won three GGCL championships, and one student won the GGCL Field Event Athlete of the Year. He also served as an assistant track and field coach at McAuley and St. Xavier, and was the head track and field coach at Summit Country Day for four years.
Sam Gagnon will begin her role as the head varsity volleyball coach in the 2022-23 season. She has served as the Assistant Varsity Volleyball Coach at Mercy McAuley since the school opened in 2018. Prior to that, she coached various levels at Mother of Mercy High School for six years. She earned her Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the Haworth College of Business at Western Michigan University, where she played volleyball. Sam is a 2007 alumna of Mother of Mercy High School, where she was a 4-year varsity volleyball starter and holds the school record for most career assists.