Having attended the presser at McKinney ISD stadium and watched the live streaming from the Rayburn Memorial Student Center, I have a lot of thoughts on this, but I will keep it to 5, so here we go.
- He is pumped-From the second I arrived at the MISD stadium conference room, Bailiff was smiling from ear to ear, walking around, meeting as many people as he possibly could. You could tell he was pumped to be there, and it was almost like he was ready to kick off the season then and there. One of the things that Colby Carthel brought was a large sense of enthusiasm, and I might can say Bailiff matched it. He was engaged from start to finish and looked like he wanted to be nowhere else but there.
- He’s keeping the blueprint-Often times, older coaches who replace younger ones will come in and say “we are going to keep things generally the same, but change a thing or two.” That is usually code for “get ready for a bunch of things to change.” Not so with this guy. He spoke very highly of the previous staff and said that he essentially considered himself a gatekeeper of the program because the groundwork has been laid, he just wants to keep building on what has been put down.
- 60 is the New 30-As I noted in thought 1, Coach Bailiff seemed to have a lot of energy, and he said he often felt like a 30 year old because he loves being around kids from the 18-23 range. He used the word love a lot. He loves the LSC. He loves the campus. He loves his players. That kind of strong language is what a lot of fans want to hear. Part of the reason so many coaches (think Bill Snyder) last a long time is because they love their profession and everything that goes with it, and it does keep most coaches young because they are around youth and see life not in quantity but in quality.
- He is a Lone Star Conference Guy-One of the things he stressed was how much he loved the LSC. Just in case you have not read, he played for Texas State back when they were Southwest Texas State under the great Jim Wacker, and captained the 1980 team. He also talked about the seriousness and the intensity of the rivalries of the LSC, and what beating teams like Midwestern means to the fan base. He also pointed out how Eddie Vowell, ETSU’s head coach from 1986-1998, was his high school coach and the success that Vowell had in Commerce, and that our tradition is storied, and he knows the bar is high and plans to raise it higher.
- He Wants to be here-One of the greatest concerns was that hiring a former Division I coach was that he was in Commerce not by choice, but by lack of options. Bailiff said from the moment he stepped on campus and started to explore the community, he knew it would be a great fit for him, because he had been in places like Commerce before as a player and coach. He stressed that Commerce was HIS CHOICE, and that he plans on being here a long time and not just winning 8-9 games, but winning 10 plus, getting to the playoffs every year, competing for and WINNING national championships, and doing that in Commerce, America.