Feb. 23, 2012
Less than a year after he walked across the stage at Rice's 98th Commencement to receive his Master's of Liberal Studies degree, Michael Slater is returning to South Main.
Rice football coach David Bailiff formally announced on Thursday that Slater, who spent three seasons as a graduate assistant with the Owls, is returning to campus as the Owls' new defensive line coach. He replaces Derrick Jackson, who accepted a coaching position at Wake Forest earlier this month.
Slater coached the defensive line last season at Division II Angelo State in 2011 after completing receiving his master's degree from Rice last spring. Slater completed his course work over three years while serving as the Owls defensive graduate assistant and coached for 12 seasons in the Alief School District in Houston. Bailiff said his deep roots in the Houston high school coaching community as well as his familiarity with the Rice program proved a powerful combination.
"Michael has strong ties in the city of Houston that have been built up over 12 years of coaching at the high school level, which is an invaluable asset in recruiting," Bailiff noted. "He has that master's degree on his wall, so any young man he recruits will know right away that he speaks from personal experience when it comes to talking about a Rice education. He also is well-acquainted with most of our returning defensive linemen, so he can hit the ground running as we prepare for Spring Practice," Bailiff added.
Slater's connection with Bailiff goes back to Southwest Texas State (now Texas State) when Slater played on the Bobcat defensive line for Bailiff. After graduating in 1993, Slater began his coaching career at Alief Hastings High School in 1996. He moved on to Alief Taylor in 2001 and then came to Rice in 2008.