STATESBORO -CoachBrandon Baileywas preparing for his first 2023 spring practice at Buffalo when the news broke that Georgia Southern would have an opening at the defensive coordinator spot. With Will Harris taking a job in the NFL, Eagle head coachClay Heltonhad to fill his spot, and quickly. Bailey's dream job was open and he had to act quickly. As Bailey recalls, he connected with Coach Helton that weekend and quickly accepted the job on Monday. He saidhis goodbyes in Buffalo and wasin Statesboro a few days later to try and install as much of the defense as he could before Georgia Southern was to begin its spring session. It all happened quickly, but now, Bailey has a little chance to breathe and truly get adjusted.
GSEagles.com had a chance to catch up with Bailey to get his thoughts on the whirlwind few weeks in March and get his backstory for all of Eagle Nation to get to know him a little better. Below is our conversation with the youngest defensive coordinator in the FBS:
Q: Can you take me through your coaching journey and you ended up back here?
A:I was born in Dooly County, Georgia, which is about two hours west of here. My parents split up when I was six years old and my mom moved to Perry, Georgia. Then a few years later, my dad moved to Cordele, Georgia, so I grew up my whole life around my whole family. My mom and dad are huge pieces of my life. I went to high school in Central Georgia and I graduated from Westfield.
I came to school here at Georgia Southern and I was a finance major who wanted to go to law school. I took a class in health and kinesiology or coaching education and I got hooked up with [former GS head football coach] JeffMonken. To make a long story short, I was a student assistant and I had no idea what I was doing. I barely knew how many people were on the field every snap. At the time, we were in the Southern Conference and we didn't really have graduate assistants. So I got to do a lot of things I probably wasn't really ready to do. I was baptized by fire and learned by messing up a lot. But every day I sat in that room and I tried to listen and I tried to figure out some small things at the time.Before I knew it, I had been here three years got to do some pretty cool things as an undergrad helping Jack Curtis under Coach Willie Fritz.
When Coach Fritz took the job at Tulane, I joined him in New Orleans. He took the job in December of 2015 and I graduated that May. A week after graduation, I got my car and drove to New Orleans and I GA'd there for a year. During that time, I started dating C.C., who is my wife now, and she was back here in Georgia. My wife is a Double Eagle. She graduated from the College of Education and she was a cheerleader, as well. So I was dating her and naturally I wanted to be closer to her.My brother was a high school coach so I decided I ws going to coach high school football. I went to Richmond Hill High School and worked with some really cool people there. Those guys are dear friends of mine. But that just really wasn't for me at the time and I wanted to get back into the college game. I knew I would had to make a move with my wife, who was my girlfriend at the time. So I proposed to her and a month and a half later I got offered a Division II job. I think they paid me in Reese's Cups and Diet Pepsi. We went there and we had a great year there and then I got the opportunity to go to College Station and work at Texas A&M for three years under Mike Elko. The first year I was there, Maurice Linguist was the corners coach but he left after that year and went a few places before getting the Buffalo head coaching job. After the first year, Coach Linguist brought me in as the defensive coordinator, which was last year. So that was my first Division I coordinator job. We went through the season and we were getting ready to go through spring ball and this position opened up. Coach Helton andI get in contact with each other andthings moved quickly. I was here a few days later, getting ready for spring ball here.
Q: Did you grow up coming to Georgia Southern football games?
A:I did! I still remember the first one I ever came to. I was six or seven years old. I say six because it sounds better, but I was definitely six or seven. Man, that was when there was still chain link around the edges of the stadium. There was no there was no Smith Family Football Center. There was the Lupton Building on the other end and there was plenty of cardboard hanging out up on the hill that you could use to go slide down the hill. It was around 2000 so it was the end ofAdrian Petersonand Greg Hill and JR Revere and some of those guys. I watched Vic Cabrals, John Morings and Freddie Pesqueria, all those guys. It was really fun. That's all I knew.
Everybody always asked me "so you're not a Georgia fan being from Georgia?" Well, you know, I didn't go to Georgia games. I came to Georgia Southern games and so I was way more concerned what was happening in the Georgia Southern/Furman game than I was the Georgia/Georgia Tech game. I couldn't have cared less about that. So we grew up coming here and we fell in love with it. We came to games pretty much every year. When I was in middle school and high school, there weren't many home games that I missed. Then my brother came to school here in 2007 and that just gave me another link here and I always knew I wanted to come to Georgia Southern. Georgia Southern is Harvard to me. After I graduated high school, I came down here and after one semester, I got involved with football. Other than when I left and went to other places, I've been at pretty much every Georgia Southern game since.
Q: Coach Ellis was talking to me about his relationship with your brother, Ben. He says he wasn't as tight with you, but knows your family pretty well. Can you fill us in on that story?
A:It's super cool. Him and my brother, Ben, they grew up competing against against each other in youth in high school sports. I mean our whole lives, his family and my family have known each other. His grandparents, aunts and uncles all live in the same town that my family lives in. They're some of the sweetest people you'll ever meet. So we've always known him and and he's exactly right. Ben and him were much closer growing up as they're closer in age. They played at different high schools but played aginst each other in football, basketball and baseball. Those guys hung the moon to me. I got to go watch all of their games. I've watchedBryan Ellisplay a lot of sporting events. As we got into college coaching, Coach Ellis and I have become closer. We've bounced things off of each other and talked about different situations. Through that, we've grown our relationship. It's really cool for not only he and I, but our families to have those initial roots to cling to and talk about you know, now that we're we're here where we are.
Side Note ... here is Coach Ellis had to say about his relationship with the Bailey family.
Our parents are all from Middle Georgia, that Perry, Georgia, area. So our parents have known each other our whole lives. You know, Ben Bailey was at Fullington Academy, which is in Pinehurst in Dooly County. My dad was coaching at Tift Area Academy down in Tifton and we were in the same region together. Ben and I were kind of the same person at two different schools. You know, he played quarterback for his team. I played quarterback. He was a two guard on the basketball team and I played two guard. I joke that he was a lot quicker than me so he played shortstop and I played third base. But we had a lot of battles. We played each other for the region championship in football one year we we played each other twice for the state championship in baseball. He got the better of us when we were sophomores and we got the better of them when we were juniors. We also had a ton of battles on the basketball court. So I have a ton of respect for that family in general. But then Brandon's older brother was the offensive coordinator at Peach County last year, which obviously everybody knows how fond of that place that I am and now he's the head coach at NorthsideHigh in Warner Robins, which is a big-time job. From the time I was 13 or 14 years old, I've been around that family. And then now, to have this come full circle with Brandon joining the staff I think is pretty neat. I didn't know Brandon as well as I knew Ben, but Brandon and my younger brother went to Westfield together for a little while, which is another cool connection. But I've been around the Baileys for a long time. One of my aunts is best friends with their mom. It's a small-town story that has branched out and as we've both been all across the United States over the last 10 or 12 years, to be back in South Georgia together at George Southern is pretty cool.
Q: Let's go back to the bowl game. When it was announced that Buffalo was playing Georgia Southern, what were your initial thoughts and then what was it like coaching against your alma mater?
A:When it was initially announced, man, I'll never forget that. I was I was sitting in my living room with my wife, who's also a Georgia Southern graduate, and she looked at me she said, "this is this is gonna be kind of weird," and I told her she was right. At that point, there were a lot of weird feelings and thoughts going through my mind. On the one hand, I'm extremely elated to be bowl eligible. That was a team goal of ours at UB. But on the other hand, I was sitting there thinking "man, I've got to do this against Georgia Southern." Once I got through the initial reaction, I had to treat them as another faceless opponent. That's what we tell our players. We had to go prepare the same way that we always prepare and go get ready to go play a game. And then so that's what we did.
There are things that this place instilled in me that you can't just turn off you know. The opponents are faceless and at that time, Georgia Southern was the opponent. I didn't change anything and we prepared the way that I always prepared. I tried to be thorough and diligent. Once we got to the bowl site, you complete the preparation and then in the game, you just have to know what the other team is at that point. It could be Georgia Southern. It could be Georgia. It could be the New England Patriots. You just try to execute your plan. And that's what we did. But it certainly was unique. I've never wanted Georgia Southern to lose a game but that day I had to want for that. So hopefully that never happens again.
Q: Now that you're back here you don't have to worry about that anymore. With you growing up around here and going to school here, have you thought about what September 2 is going to be like for you when you take that field the first time as the defensive coordinator?
A:You know, I have. I'm an extremely emotional person and that's going to be that's going to be an extreme highlight of my life. I would imagine there will probably be some eyelashes sweating and a couple tears shed that day. Everybody talks about how special this place is, and it truly is an unbelievable place. You know, hope I never have to leave and I mean that with all my heart. Having this job is already a dream come true. Not many people get to live their dream, but I do. I would imagine when we load up to yellow school buses and go over to the Eagle Walk, that's when it'll really set in and that'll be a really neat moment for me and my family.
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STATESBORO - Georgia Southern alum Brandon Bailey has been named the new defensive coordinator and linebackers coach for the Eagle football program, as announced Wednesday by head coach Clay Helton .Who is Brandon Bailey football coach? ›
Georgia Southern alum Brandon Bailey serves as the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach for the Eagle football program. He came to Statesboro after a successful debut season as a defensive coordinator and safeties coach for the University of Buffalo.What sports does GA Southern offer? ›
On February 26, 2021, Bailey underwent Tommy John surgery, causing him to miss the 2021 season.
Bailey Gaither (born January 11, 1997) is an American football wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Maulers of the United States Football League (USFL). He played college football at San Jose State.Where did Champ Bailey play college football? ›
During his three seasons at Georgia, Bailey excelled on both defense and offense, as he played cornerback and wide receiver for the Bulldogs. In that time, he recorded eight interceptions and also caught 59 passes for 978 yards and five touchdowns.How much do Georgia Southern football coaches make? ›
Georgia Southern University Coaches
There are also 29 assitant coaches of sports at GaSou. That breaks down to 17 assistant coaches of men's teams and 12 assistant coaches of women's teams. The average salary is $103,505 a year for assistant coaches of men's teams and $38,870 for assistant coaches of women's teams.
The initial agreement with the athletic foundation covered five years from April 1, 2020 through March 31, 2025. The raise plus the $8,000 annual increase puts Benko's base salary at $403,000 in Year 1 (July 1, 2022-June 30, 2023) and rising to $435,000 by Year 5 ending June 30, 2027.How much does Brandon Bailey make? ›
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The court heard the defendants then got out of the cab and Mr Goodall struck Mr Bailey before pushing him away violently. Camera footage showed Mr Loftus removing his t-shirt before punching Mr Bailey to the head and face in an attack which lasted a few seconds. Mr Bailey then staggered into the road and collapsed.What NFL players went to Gaither High School? ›
Ravens' Bailey Gaither: Back at practice Tuesday
The second-year receiver signed with the Packers as an undrafted free agent in 2021 but briefly retired before joining the USFL in 2022.
Despite interest from teams, Champ Bailey has decided to retire from NFL to pursue other career opportunities, agent Jack Reale said Tues. The 36-year-old veteran retires with 12 Pro Bowl selections and 52 career interceptions, although he was never able to capture an elusive Super Bowl ring.Does Champ Bailey have a Super Bowl ring? ›
Champ Bailey didn't win any championships in his career.Is Champ Bailey in the College Football Hall of Fame? ›
One of the most versatile players in Georgia history, Champ Bailey played more than 1,000 snaps on offense, defense and special teams during his remarkable 1998 season. The Folkston, Georgia, native becomes the 16th Bulldog player to join the College Football Hall of Fame.Which college football coach makes the most money? ›
Nick Saban remains college football's highest-paid coach for the third consecutive year. Norvell, who was hired in 2019, and led the Seminoles to their first ten-win season since 2016, will receive a base salary increase to $5.335 million in 2023 and jumps to $7.335 million in 2024.What is Georgia head coach salary? ›
As it stands, Georgia's on-field coaching staff — including head coach Kirby Smart — will draw a salary of $14.6 million for the 2022 season.How much does the Georgia Southern Athletic Director get paid? ›
STATESBORO, Ga. —
Georgia Southern University Director of Athletics Jared Benko and the Georgia Southern Athletic Foundation have come to terms on a new five-year contract. The new contract is for five years, ending on June 30, 2027. His annual base salary increased $90,000 on September 1, 2022.
The average assistant baseball coach salary ranges between $28,000 and $69,000 in the US.How much do college football coaching assistant coaches get paid? ›
How much does an Assistant Football Coach make? The average salary for an assistant football coach in the United States is $45,329. Assistant football coach salaries typically range between $29,000 and $69,000 a year. The average hourly rate for assistant football coaches is $21.79 per hour.How much does a football coach at Texas Southern University make? ›
Texas Southern University Coaches
The sports at TSU are led by 16 head coaches, 7 of whom coach male teams and 9 of whom spearhead women's teams. The average salary of the men's team head coaches is $187,002, while the head coaches of women's team make, on average, $77,724 per year.
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Tight ends coach Todd Hartley, who has recruited and coached Brock Bowers and Darnell Washington, saw his pay jump from $665,000 to $850,000. Offensive line coach Stacy Searels pay rose from $655,000 to $755,000.How much do Sun Belt football coaches make? ›
Of the 122 salaries provided, Saban is 1st and Bowden is 122nd. Between college football's 10 highest-paid coaches in 2021, they will collectively take home just north of $78.65 million. In the Sun Belt, the 10 coaches who began the 2021 season will take home $8,610,000.Who is Georgia's new defensive coordinator? ›
Georgia's co-defensive coordinators Will Muschamp and Glenn Schumann shared their thoughts on TCU's Max Duggan, running backs, and offensive attack.Who replaced Dan Lanning at UGA? ›
Dan Lanning replacement: Glenn Schumann, Will Muschamp named co-DCs. According to Seth Emerson of The Athletic, after Lanning leaves for Oregon, Glenn Schumann and Will Muschamp will serve as co-defensive coordinators.Who is GA Co-defensive coordinator? ›
|Born||March 29, 1990 Valdosta, Georgia, U.S.|
Former Georgia defensive back Will Muschamp joined Kirby Smart's staff in January, 2021, as a senior analyst with the defense. He assumed an on-field role early in the 2021 season working with special teams, in addition to the defensive backfield, and was named Co-Defensive Coordinator in December, 2021.
In 2022, Schumann netted a 3-year contract extension with a $200,000 raise upon his promotion to lead defensive coordinator, following Dan Lanning's departure to Oregon. He earned $805,000 in 2022 and was set to make $855,000 in 2023 and $905,000 in 2024.Who is the highest-paid college football coach? ›
Nick Saban remains college football's highest-paid coach for the third consecutive year. Norvell, who was hired in 2019, and led the Seminoles to their first ten-win season since 2016, will receive a base salary increase to $5.335 million in 2023 and jumps to $7.335 million in 2024.What is Will Muschamp salary at Georgia? ›
Dan Lanning was officially announced as the 35th head coach in Oregon football history on December 11, 2021, as athletic director Rob Mullens brought one of college football's brightest young coaches and top defensive minds to Eugene to lead the Ducks.Is Mark Richt returning to UGA? ›
Former Georgia Head Coach Returning to Sidelines
Former Georgia head coach Mark Richt is set to return to the sideline as a coach in January of 2023 at the Polynesian bowl. Former Georgia Football head coach Mark Richt is beloved in the city of Athens where he now resides having retired from coaching college football.
The defensive coordinator's main job is to call plays for the defense, but they also have to watch film and scout upcoming games that they'll be playing in. The defensive coordinator has to make adjustments in-game based on how offenses are playing against their defense.
|Born||March 21, 1979 New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.|
Richt coached at Georgia from 2001 to 2015, going 145-51 in his time running Georgia. His coaching career also included stops at Miami as the head coach and serving as Florida State's offensive coordinator. Richt stepped away from coaching following the 2018 season and now serves as an analyst for the ACC Network.Will Kirby Smart ever leave Georgia? ›
But sorry, SEC East teams – Kirby Smart won't be leaving Georgia any time soon. The coach of the back-to-back division champs returned to Bainbridge Thursday to speak at a fundraiser for his high school alma mater.
As it stands, Georgia's on-field coaching staff — including head coach Kirby Smart — will draw a salary of $14.6 million for the 2022 season.