Bailey named b-ball coach at East Georgia College
After successfully leading Oak Hill Academy and Middlesex High to new levels of success, coach Neil Bailey is now taking on his most rewarding challenge yet, starting a new basketball program at East Georgia College.
East Georgia, part of the University System of Georgia, is a 3,000-student associate degree granting college in rural Swainsboro, Georgia. This fall will mark its initial foray into intercollegiate athletics after 36 years.
“Certainly starting a new program presents a variety of new challenges and we are making progress and up for the challenge,” said Bailey.
Bailey has spent the last nine years as a high school head coach. From 2000-2005 he was the head coach of the “Red” Team at Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va.
During his tenure at Oak Hill the Red Team became one of the top private school teams in the state, amassing a 107-22 record over five seasons and competed against teams from all over the nation.
Bailey’s next stop was at Middlesex High School. At MHS, Bailey took over a program coming off of back-to-back last place finishes to two district titles and three regional appearances in his four years. In his first season at Middlesex, Bailey’s team came out of nowhere to go undefeated during district play and finish with a 20-5 record.
During his second season, the undersized, never-give-up Chargers earned a district championship by knocking off a more highly-touted squad from King William.
Now for Bailey, it’s not rebuilding, but building. “It is exciting to start a program from scratch to build it in the right way with the right values and with the right people,” Bailey said. “We have a great group of young people in the program and I am excited about our future.”
Vice president Donald Avery of Student and Enrollment Services at East Georgia College added, “We are very excited about getting started in athletics here at East Georgia College. We have begun the initial steps of developing schedules, holding tryouts and building teams. We were very fortunate to find Neil. He has a wealth of experience in athletics and the personal characteristics which we believe will reflect positively on our new athletic program, the student athletes and the institution as a whole.
“Neil was able to come in and hit the ground running,” continued Avery. “He has worked tirelessly to build a positive foundation for our fledgling athletic program. East Georgia College was fortunate to find the right person, with the right qualifications and at the right time.”
East Georgia College will compete in the Georgia Junior College Athletic Association as a club team this season before becoming a full-time member in 2010.
Coach Bailey is married to Carrie Lynn Bailey, a professor in the counselor education department of Georgia Southern University. They have two children, Ellie, 11, and Cooper, 4.