Photo Credit | John Parsons
By: John Parsons | Staff Reporter
David Bailiff was introduced as the 20th Head Football Coach of the Texas A&M University-Commerce Lions on Dec 12, 2018.
Coach Bailiff brings 35 years of experience to the Lions and recognizes parents are entrusting him with their family treasures. His coaching staff plans to “develop them and work them hard but they will be treated like they are our sons,” Bailiff said.
When recruiting an athlete, Bailiff explains that Texas A&M-Commerce “is a great university.”
A call for excellence starts at the top with Dr. Mark Rudin, the A&M-Commerce President. “He is here completely for the students,” Bailiff said.
“David Bailiff is an exceptional leader of men. He has a genuine level of care for young people that is rare,” Tim McMurray, athletic director, said.
The search committee established seven key pillars; “integrity and commitment to compliance, initiatives for student-athlete success, strategic recruiting based within the Texas footprint, a championship vision, an inclusive leadership style, excellent collaboration with campus partners, and demonstrated ability to engage our alumni and community,” McMurray said in a prepared statement.
Bailiff checked all of those boxes with his “energy, passion and ability to connect with student-athletes,” according to McMurray.
Victoria Kisluk, Director of Student-Athlete Success, monitors the players’ academic standing and provides academic counseling. Graduation rates for student-athletes was higher than the rest of the student population, she said.
Bailiff turned a diverse group of individuals into a team by providing common goals. He made it clear that it is very important for his players to graduate from college. Players who make it this far “are pretty good at what they do,” Bailiff said.
Only 3% of high school athletes get the opportunity to play in college, according to Bailiff.
Players are “all in,” he said. They have the goal, the dream, of playing professional football.
“It has been exceptionally gratifying to watch Coach Bailiff connect with our returners, ingrain our new coaching staff into our outstanding University community. Our Lion Football legacy has high expectations, and I believe we have the absolute perfect institutional fit to maintain, expand, and exceed those expectations,” McMurray said.
Bailiff enjoys staying in touch with his former players and defines success as “getting wedding invitations.” He then knows he has had an impact in their lives.
“That’s what this is all about,” he said.
Bailiff played outside tackle/tight end for the then Southwest Texas State University Bobcats under Coach Jim Wacker while it was a part of the Lone Star Conference.