In leading Rice to a second bowl victory in his six seasons as head coach, David Bailiff has joined Jess Neely as the only coach to lead the Owls to multiple bowl games and has continued build a program that makes its mark on the field, in the classroom and in the community.
Since taking over in 2007, Bailiff has led the Owls to a pair of bowl championships while also improving the teams cumulative GPA each year. The Owls have led Conference USA football teams in GPA in each of their seven seasons in the conference and in 2010 were honored by the American Football Coaches Association as the co-winners of the Academic Achievement Award. He is a member of the American Football Coaches Association Board of Trustees and has served as a member of the USA Today Coaches' Poll for the past three seasons.
Bailiff's staff has made the state of Texas a priority in recruiting, solidifying relationships with high school coaches throughout the state that has also seen the Owls increase their walk-on program. The Owls 2012 recruiting class featured 17 of 18 signees from Texas.
Those recruiting efforts have also paid off as pair of players from his first Rice recruiting class (Cheta Ozougwu and Scott Solomon) were drafted and made their debuts in the NFL in 2012. All told five players who played the majority of their careers under Bailiff have reached the NFL.
He has also made good on his promise to keep the Owls active in community work, as the Owls have been tireless in their efforts with local schools and hosting a series of free clinics as well as reaching out to Rice's diverse student population through an annual International Students' Clinic each August. In July of 2009, Bailiff accepted an invitation to join with four other college football coaches on a goodwill tour to visit military personnel stationed in Afghanistan and again honored our troops in 2011 by participating as a driver in the "Crossing of America" tour. The Owls also are regular participants in efforts to send care packages to members of the armed forced deployed overseas.
He was honored by the Conference USA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) with its 2012 Coaches Choice Award. The SAAC Coaches Choice Award recognizes a coach that is committed to fostering student-athlete development and welfare through a positive athletic and academic atmosphere. Each C-USA institution selects a nominee and then voting is done by the conference SAAC representatives during its annual in-person meeting.
In 2008, the Owls endured a series of challenges as well as the aftermath of Hurricane Ike and produced the first 10-win season for Rice since 1949 and the Owls' first victory in a bowl game since their memorable win over Alabama in the 1954 Cotton Bowl. For his efforts, Bailiff was honored by his conference peers as the 2008 Conference USA Coach of the Year.
With their 38-14 victory over Western Michigan in the Texas Bowl, the Owls closed the season with seven straight wins, validating the faith he had placed in the 2008 senior class to motivate its teammates to make it a memorable year. From the rigors of winter conditioning to the early morning workouts all through the summer of 2008, the Owls were molded into a team determined to make a statement this season.
Opening with a 56-point outburst against SMU on national TV in late August, Chase Clement and his band of receivers piled up points at a record pace. Clement and Jarett Dillard went on to become the most productive passing duo in NCAA history, while Dillard broke the NCAA career mark for touchdown receptions. Clement shattered the conference career marks for touchdown passes and total touchdowns, while James Casey, the multi-talented former pro baseball player, broke the C-USA record with 111 catches.
At the same time, the Owls defense, bolstered by the fruits of Bailiff's first two recruiting classes, was able to improve with each game and produced some stout efforts during a seven-game winning streak to end the year.
Bailiff came to Rice after three seasons as the head coach at Texas State University in San Marcos, TX where he posted a 21-15 record while leading the Bobcats to their first Southland Conference championship and the semifinals of the NCAA Division 1-AA playoffs in 2005.
In his last two seasons at Texas State, Bailiff produced standouts both on the field and in the classroom. He produced both the Southland Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year in 2005 (Barrick Nealy and Fred Evans) and the league's Student Athlete of the Year for football in 2006 (Walter Musgrove). Overall, he produced a total of 14 All Southland Conference first team selections, and 13 players who were named to the academic all conference squad in his last two years.
The 2005 season was truly a magical one. The Bobcats went 9-2 during the regular season and earned the school's first berth in the Division I-AA playoffs.
In their first game, the Bobcats stormed back from a 35-16 deficit against Division I-AA national power Georgia Southern to score 34 unanswered points and beat the Eagles 50-35. The `Cats then defeated Cal Poly 14-7 to move on to the national semifinals. Only a 40-37 overtime loss to Northern Iowa stood between Texas State and an appearance in the Division I-AA National Championship Game.
Bailiff was named the American Football Coaches Association's Region 5 Coach of the Year and finished third in the voting for the Eddie Robinson Award presented annually to the top coach in Division I-AA.
Prior to being named Texas State head coach, Bailiff spent three seasons on the staff at TCU. He served as the Horned Frogs' defensive coordinator in both 2002 and 2003 while working with the team's defensive lineman.
The 2003 Horned Frogs posted an 11-2 record and were ranked 25th in the final Associated Press writers poll and 24th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. Bailiff was part of a staff which built quite a tradition on defense at TCU. During his three seasons in Fort Worth, the Horned Frogs were ranked 24th, 1st and 38th in the country in total defense and 10th, first and ninth against the run.
In 2002, TCU allowed just 240.2 yards of total offense per game which led the country. The Horned Frogs surrendered an average 64.8 yards on the ground. During the year, the Frogs held Tulane to a school-record -53 yards rushing. TCU also ranked second in the country in pass efficiency defense, allowing opponents to complete less than 39 percent of their passes.
Six TCU defensive players earned all-conference accolades in 2002 including Conference USA Defensive Player of the year and Second-Team All-American LaMarcus MacDonald.
While at TCU, the Horned Frogs played in a bowl game every season - the galleryfurniture.com Bowl (2001), AXA Liberty Bowl (2002) and the Plains Capital Fort Worth Bowl (2003).
He began his coaching career as the defensive line coach at New Braunfels High School (1982-84). He went into private business from 1984-88 before returning to the coaching ranks as a defensive graduate assistant coach at Texas State in 1988 . He was elevated to the Bobcats' defensive line coach in 1989.
Bailiff left Texas State in 1992 for an assistant coaching position at New Mexico. He returned to Texas State in 1997 as defensive coordinator and added assistant head coach responsibilities to his role in 1999.
It was in 1999 that Bailiff was selected the NCAA Division I-AA Assistant Coach of the Year by the American Football Coaches Association. While at TCU Bailiff was also honored as the Top Assistant Football Coach by the All-American Football Foundation following the Horned Frogs' 2002 season.
As a player, Bailiff was named All-Lone Star Conference as well as All-America honorable mention while playing at Texas State from 1977-80. He served as a team captain in 1980 and was named honorable mention to the Lone Star Team of the Decade.
Bailiff is married to the former Angie Daniels of Versailles, Mo. He has a daughter, Brooke (27), and the couple has twin 15-year-old sons, Grayson and Gregory.