John Baines is entering his fourth season as the head men's basketball coach at Elmhurst College.
Baines needed only two seasons to bring the Bluejays back to the national spotlight. In 2014-15, the team posted a 20-8 overall record (9-5 in the CCIW) and qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the 2009 season. Baines' team was nationally ranked and scored a thrilling triple-overtime win over fifth-ranked St. Norbert College in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. The team reached the 20-win plateau for just the fourth time in school history and Baines was named the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association "Division III Co-Coach of the Year."
Last season, Baines guided the Bluejays to a 22-7 overall record and a trip to the second-round of the NCAA Tournament. The 22 wins matched a school record for most wins in a season. The team also posted back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time in school history. The second straight trip to the NCAA Tournament also marked a first in the history of the program.
In his first season as the Bluejays' head coach in 2013-14, Baines' squad finished with a 14-11 overall record, an eight-game improvement from the previous season. The team also improved by four games in the conference standings to finish in sixth place in the CCIW.
Baines has a 56-26 record in three seasons as the Bluejays' head coach.
A long-time assistant for the Bluejays, Baines became the 15th men's basketball head coach in Elmhurst history when Mark Scherer announced his retirement from coaching following the 2012-13 season. Baines spent 10 seasons as Scherer's right-hand man in Elmhurst before becoming the head coach at the University of St. Francis in 2010.
In his debut season at St. Francis in 2010-11, Baines guided the Saints to a 21-10 overall record, an improvement of 13 games from the previous season and the team's best record in 21 seasons. His team climbed to as high as 24th in the NAIA Division I coaches poll.
In 2012-13, Baines guided the Saints to a 21-12 record and a fourth-place finish in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference. In his three seasons at St. Francis, Baines compiled a 57-38 overall record while coaching six all-conference performers, a conference Freshman of the Year award winner and a pair of NAIA All-Americans.
In five seasons as a head coach, Baines has compiled a 113-64 overall record.
Baines began his collegiate coaching career at Elmhurst in 2000-01. In his first year with the Bluejays, he helped the squad to a school-best 22-5 record and its first College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin Championship. The team advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament and was ranked as high as sixth in the nation.
In Baines' tenure as an assistant at Elmhurst the Bluejays compiled a 160-99 record (.618 winning percentage), recorded five conference runner-up finishes, qualified for the CCIW Tournament four times, won over 20 games in three seasons and advanced to the NCAA Tournament twice. The Bluejays were ranked in the D3hoops.com top-10 for three consecutive years from 2007-2009. He also served as the men's tennis coach (2000-04) and head women's golf coach (2003-06) while at Elmhurst.
Baines began his coaching career at Bloomington High School in 1998 before joining Scherer's coaching staff at Elmhurst.
Baines was no stranger to the CCIW before joining the Elmhurst coaching staff. He played college basketball at Illinois Wesleyan University. He was a part of teams that compiled a 103-14 record, played in the NCAA Tournament four times, reached the Final Four twice and won a national championship in 1997.
Baines earned his bachelor's degree in mathematics from Illinois Wesleyan in 1998. He received a master's degree in sports administration from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2003. He and his wife, Emily, reside in Chicago with their daughter, Sloane.