David Bailiff
David  Bailiff

Head Coach

Tenth Season:
Texas State--1981


Taking A Stand

Football joins with Depelchin to stand up for victims of child abuse


Cobb and Sign Selected as 2017 Honor Jerseys

Stewart and Gordon to honor pair


Owls Close out Spring Drills on April 7

Kickoff set for 8 p.m.


Owls Welcome 17 Players in the Class of 2017

David Bailiff’s 11th class


Rice and Stanford Set for Opener Down Under

August 26 in Sydney, Australia


Rice vs. Stanford

Nov. 26, 2016


Rice - Charlotte

Rice rallied from a 21-0 deficit to defeat Charlotte 22-21 on November 12.



Rice hosted FAU at Rice Stadium on November 5.


Rice - Prairie View

Rice defeated Prairie View 65-44


Baylor 38, Rice 10

Rice opened the 2016 home schedule by dropping a 38-10 decision to Baylor.

As he enters his 10th year at the helm of the Rice Owls, David Bailiff will celebrate the dawning of an exciting new era as the program realizes a long-sought goal with the opening of the new Brian Patterson Sports Performance Center as well as continuing to deliver an unparalleled standard of success on the field and in the classroom.

Bailiff will become just the fourth head coach to lead the Owls for at least a decade, joining Jess Neely (27 years), Ken Hatfield (12 years) and Phillip Arbuckle (11 years) and he is just four wins away from passing Hatfield to move into second on the Owls career win list.

In nine seasons on South Main, Bailiff has built a program that has become one of the most consistent in Conference USA. Under his watch, the Owls have earned four bowl berths and won three bowl championships and have produced the most wins in school history over a two (18), three (25) and four (30) year period. Rice's 18-9 mark from 2013-14 was the second best of any FBS program in Texas. He has led the Owls to two of the three 10-win seasons in school history and has won eight or more games three times, matching Jess Neely for the most at Rice.


Bailiff has twice been honored by his peers as C-USA Coach of the Year (2008 & 2013) and after leading the Owls to their first outright conference championship in 56 years in 2013, he joined Art Briles (Baylor), Mark Dantonio (Michigan State), Gus Malzahn (Auburn) and David Shaw (Stanford) as Bear Bryant Coach of the Year award finalists. He was also honored by the San Antonio Express News as its Co-Sportsman of the Year.

While reaching new heights on the field, Bailiff's teams continue to excel in the classroom while also making a profound impact on the Houston community. Twice in his tenure, the Owls were honored by the American Football Coaches Association with its Academic Achievement Award, having posted a 100 percent graduation rate. Rice has led Conference USA football teams in GPA in six of his nine seasons.

He was honored with the Greater Houston Football Coaches Association's John Kelley Distinguished Service Award and by the Conference USA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) Coaches Choice Award winner for 2011-12. He was also cited by the Houston Press as "Houston's Best Sports Role Model" in its 2013 Best of Houston edition.

Bailiff's staff has made the state of Texas a priority in recruiting, solidifying relationships with high school coaches throughout the state and the result has shown itself both in the team success and in the number of players reaching the NFL as well as in his successful efforts to bring the Texas High School Coaches Association Convention to Houston in 2015.

The Owls have had eight players taken in the NFL Draft during Bailiff's tenure, matching the output of the previous 22 years prior to his arrival. A total of six players from his first five recruiting classes have been selected. A record nine Owls recruited by Bailiff saw action in the NFL in 2015 and a 10th, Jordan Taylor, was on the practice squad with Denver and became the second Bailiff recruit in the last three years to win a Super Bowl ring (Luke Willson, Seattle, 2014).

His efforts in Texas have also seen the Owls increase their walk-on program. Most recently, the walk-on program produced 2015 leading receiver Zach Wright.

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 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.

The Rice football team was honored by the Texas Association of Partners in Education with their TAPE's Crystal Award for the program the Owls conducted in 2007 with the students at Arizona Fleming Elementary School in Houston. The Owls support of Big Brothers helped Rice Athletics be honored in 2012 as one of the Houston chapter's Community Partners of the Year.

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 with his first Conference USA Coach of the Year honor.

Bailiff came to Rice after three seasons as the head coach at Texas State University in San Marcos 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.

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 title 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 linemen.

The 2003 Horned Frogs posted an 11-2 record and were ranked 25th in the final Associated Press writer's poll and 24th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. Bailiff was part of a staff which built 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 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 and the couple has twin 19-year-old sons, Grayson and Gregory.


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