In leading Rice to its first Conference USA title as well as a second consecutive bowl game, David Bailiff continues to deliver on his pledge to build a program at Rice that makes its mark on the field, in the classroom and in the community.
Entering his eighth year on South Main, Bailiff has twice led the Owls to 10 wins, matching Jess Neely's 1949 squad for the most in school history and their 41-24 victory over Marshall gave Rice its first outright conference championship since 1957. He has twice led the Owls to bowl wins (2008 Texas Bowl; 2012 Armed Forces Bowl) and with one more Bowl win, he would tie Neely for the most in school history.
For the second time in his career at Rice, Bailiff was honored by his peers who named him C-USA Coach of the Year and he joined Art Briles (Baylor), Mark Dantonio (Michigan State), Gus Malzahn (Auburn) and David Shaw (Stanford) as a finalist for the 2013 Bear Bryant Coach of the Year award. He was also honored by the San Antonio Express News as its Co-Sportsman of the Year.
In the past two years, Rice is 17-9, tying the 1934-35 squads for the most wins over two seasons and they enter 2014 looking to become the first team in school history to win at least seven games in three consecutive years.
While reaching new heights on the field, Bailiff's teams continue to excel in the classroom. For the second time in the four years, the Owls were honored by the American Football Coaches Association with its Academic Achievement Award, having posted a 100% graduation rate. Rice has led Conference USA football teams in GPA in each of his five of his first seven seasons as head coach and their graduation rate ranks nearly 30% higher than the combined rates of the other FBS schools in the state of Texas.
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. 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 five seasons.
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.
In the 2014 NFL Draft, Phillip Gaines became the second Bailiff product in as many years to be taken in the first three rounds when he was selected by Kansas City in third round. Bailiff's first three recruiting classes have now produced five draft picks, matching the total from the Owls previous from 1993-2007.
His efforts in Texas have also seen the Owls increase their walk-on program. Most recently, the walk-on program produced 2013's leading tackler in linebacker Michael Kutzler as well as two other starters in defensive end Tanner Leland and starting punter James Farrimond.
Rice has produced three Freshman All-Americans as well as a pair of All Americans (Jarett Dillard and Kyle Martens) under Bailiff and has 2014 preseason selection in defensive tackle Christian Covington.
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 as the 2008 Conference USA Coach of 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 writer's 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 and the couple has twin 17-year-old sons, Grayson and Gregory.