Texas A&M University-Commerce has hired David Bailiff as its 20th head football coach, as announced on December 9, 2018, by University President Dr. Mark Rudin and director of athletics Tim McMurray.
Bailiff will officially be introduced as the Lions' head coach at a pair of events on Wednesday, December 12. At 11 a.m., Bailiff will meet with Dallas-area media and constituents at McKinney ISD Stadium, site of the NCAA Division II National Championship Game. At 3 p.m., Bailiff will be introduced to the Commerce community with an event in the Sam Rayburn Student Center.
"During our comprehensive search process, David Bailiff emerged as an exceptional leader of men who exemplifies our Best in Class mission," noted McMurray. "We had seven key pillars during our search – 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. With Coach Bailiff's energy, passion, and ability to connect with student-athletes, we checked all our boxes."
Bailiff was the head coach at Texas State University from 2004-06 and at Rice University from 2007-17. The Lions' 2019 season will be Bailiff's 15th season as a collegiate head coach.
In his tenure as a collegiate head coach, Bailiff has led a team to the NCAA Division I National Semifinals and has made five total postseason appearances with a 5-2 postseason record. The 2005 Texas State Bobcats were Division I National Semifinalists, and Bailiff led the Rice Owls to four bowls with a 3-1 record in those games.
Bailiff has led teams to 10-win seasons in three seasons (one at Texas State, two at Rice). Under his watch, the Owls had the most wins in school history over a two (18), three (25), and four (30) year periods. Rice's 18-9 mark from 2013-14 was the second-best of any FBS program in Texas.
"I am so thrilled to be the 20th head coach in the history of the school. I'm an old Lone Star Conference guy, and that's where my roots are in college football," Bailiff said. "It's great and exciting what coach Carthel built here, and it's the first job I've had where you've got to look at the blueprint and continue building the momentum on something great he's already got started."
Bailiff was twice honored by his peers as Conference USA Coach of the Year (2008 & 2013) and led the Owls to their first outright conference championship in 56 years in 2013. His Southland Conference championship at Texas State in 2005 was the Bobcats' first conference title in their 21 years as a Division I school at the time.
While reaching new heights on the field, Bailiff's Rice teams excelled 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 led Conference USA football teams in GPA in seven of his first 10 seasons and annually dominated Texas on the conference in the NCAA's annual graduation rate studies.
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.
Rice had eight players taken in the NFL Draft during Bailiff's tenure, matching the output of the previous 22 years prior to his arrival.
In 2005 at Texas State, 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.
"The most important people right now to me are the guys who are there on that football team," Bailiff noted. "First, I'm going to have a team meeting and get to know the guys who are already A&M-Commerce Lions. Secondly, I'm going to get on the road to find new Lions. I am going to retain a couple of guys who are presently on the staff so they can get me on the road immediately and we can go to work."
"What was amazing was when I met President Rudin - and I've known Tim McMurray for a long time - I saw a lot of vision, energy and creativity, and then I saw the town of Commerce. Commerce has similarities to where I went to college at Southwest Texas State. The university is a little bigger than the town, the campus is absolutely gorgeous, facilities are very impressive and I know we're going to build a new locker room. Then you see the downtown area being revitalized, it looks like an area of great potential. The university's growing, the town's growing, and I want to be a part of that community and I absolutely cannot wait to get there," Bailiff added.
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.
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.
In 1999, 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 Southwest 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 sons, Grayson and Gregory.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ABOUT COACH BAILIFF
"From the moment I met Coach Bailiff, it was evident he is committed to running a first-class football program. He possesses tremendous passion and energy, is a strong advocate for our student-athletes being successful in all phases of their collegiate experience and beyond, and he is an accomplished football coach. I look forward to him leading Lion football to continued levels of championship success."
-Dr. Mark Rudin, President, Texas A&M University-Commerce
"I'm tickled to death to see David Bailiff take the reins of Lion Football! There's not a better coach in the business, and most importantly, he treats kids right. He and his family will be a great blessing to Lion Football, the University, and the fine folks of Commerce, Texas."
- Colby Carthel, Head Football Coach, Stephen F. Austin
"Fantastic hire by Texas A&M Commerce – Truly exciting for the Lone Star Conference and DII Football as Coach Bailiff is one of the ALL Time greatest recruiters and coaches in Texas – He will recruit em' up and coach em' up – Everybody just got better! Coach Bailiff has had one of the best relationships with Texas High School coaches over the past four decades due to his honesty, compassion, loyalty and his investment in coaches. Coach Bailiff's relationship with the Texas High School Coaches Association is extremely important to him because he is a Texas High School Coach. David Bailiff is the ultimate TEAM coach as he will bring an infectious culture to Commerce based on his values of Family and Team. He is a Player's Coach and a Coach's Coach. Congratulations Texas A&M-Commerce!"
- Joe Martin, Assistant Executive Director, Texas High School Coaches Association
"Speaking from experience, Texas A&M-Commerce and everyone on that campus is so lucky to have David Bailiff leading their football program. I was very fortunate to spend several of my most formative years as a coach working with Coach Bailiff and I can't thank him enough for all he's done for me and my career. He's not only a proven program builder and a tremendous coach but he's just an unbelievable person and someone I'm lucky to call a friend. I'm excited that he'll be back on the sidelines, sharing his passion for football and continuing to impact the lives of players and coaches."
- Tom Herman, Head Football Coach, Texas
"I've known Coach Bailiff my whole life. He coached high school football with my dad. He's an incredible coach and an even better man. Commerce is lucky to have him."
- Kliff Kingsbury, Offensive Coordinator, USC
"What a great day for Lion Football, as y'all have hired an incredible coach, but an even better person in Coach David Bailiff!"
- Chris Del Conte, Vice President/Director of Athletics, Texas
"David Bailiff is a great man, great coach and great recruiter!"
- Gary Patterson, Head Football Coach, TCU