It was a extensive climb, but Willard Bailey has reached the apex of college or university soccer coaching.
The former mentor at four Virginia colleges was formally inducted into the Black College or university Football Hall of Fame very last Saturday in Atlanta.
“This is the highest award a mentor can get, and I share it with players and coaches and spouse and children,” he instructed the Free Push.
“I’m so happy for so a lot of folks. I had a mighty floor crew as my support.”
The Suffolk indigenous was the lone coach inducted in the Corridor of Fame Course of 2021. He is enshrined now in the Hall of Fame along with players Coy Bacon (Jackson Point out), Greg Coleman (Florida A&M), Jimmie Giles and Roynell Youthful (Alcorn State) and Winston Hill (Texas Southern).
Mentor Bailey posted an total document of 238-169-7 at Virginia Union University all through two stints, Norfolk State College, the previous St. Paul’s Higher education and Virginia College of Lynchburg.
He went 157-73-6 at VUU when profitable six CIAA titles and guiding the Panthers to the NCAA Division II playoffs on 5 occasions.
Just after leaving VUU the initial time, Mentor Bailey posted a file of 52-40-1 at his alma mater, NSU, including yet another CIAA crown and a different NCAA bid.
With really limited methods, he was 21-37 at St. Paul’s in Law- renceville and 8-19 at the independent Lynch- burg college.
Coach Bailey came to VUU in 1966 as an assistant under Coach Thomas “Tricky Tom” Harris.
“Dr. Wendell Rus- sell (then academic dean at VUU) read about me while I was coaching at Essex County Substantial in Tappahannock. He found out about me by means of my aged studies instructor at Norfolk State.
“Dr. Russell questioned me to arrive to Virginia Union even although I did not have much far more than a driver’s license,” Coach Bailey recalled.
He turned head mentor in 1971 and in his third year, 1973, he directed the workforce to their initially CIAA crown in a long time.
He returned to VUU a 2nd time from 1995 to 2003.
Whilst at VUU, he despatched at the very least six players to the NFL— Herb Scott, Anthony Leonard, Malcolm Barnwell, Carl Bland, Pete Harris and James Atkins.
At Norfolk Condition, he served get quarterback Willie Gillus to the NFL.
Although at St. Paul’s, he aided create defensive back Greg Toler, who became the Tigers’ only athlete to at any time get to the NFL.
“It’s not just the NFL gamers,” Mentor Bailey said. “I’m just as proud of all the husbands and fathers and, indeed, now grandfathers I aided in daily life.”
As for his individual age, Coach Bailey claims with a chuckle: “I’ll confess to 59.”
In any interview, Coach Bailey is quick to deflect the awareness to his previous gamers and assistant coaches and even to sportswriters and sponsors. One he holds especially pricey to his heart is the late Jesse Chavis, who served as his defensive coordinator throughout his very first stint at VUU.
“Very few—very few—could score on us,” he reported. “Coach Chavis was lower from the Denver Broncos thanks to an personal injury. Denver’s reduction was Virginia Union’s acquire.”
Coach Bailey is not overlooked by his legion of mates on the Lombardy Road campus.
Every single 12 months, VUU celebrates his legacy with the Willard Bailey Basic, a slide soccer matchup. This year’s event will be Saturday, Sept. 18, against a person of Mentor Bailey’s former universities, Virginia-Lynchburg.
The Willard Bailey Traditional generally draws a enormous con- gregation of previous VUU gamers, coaches and supporters.
Coach Bailey welcomes them all to share the see from the mountaintop.