Will Bailey, who served as an assistant coach on Travis Ford‘s staff at Saint Louis from 2016-20, has returned to SLU as an assistant coach, Ford announced today.
“We are excited to welcome Will back to Team Blue,” Ford said. “Will’s experience as a relentless recruiter and a coach speaks for itself. He knows our players and has a great understanding of our program and values. Will has been a big part of building our basketball program here at SLU, and we are excited to have him back on the Chaifetz Arena sidelines.”
Bailey first came to SLU in Ford’s first year prior to the 2016-17 campaign. In fact, Bailey was Ford’s first assistant coaching hire on the staff.
“Team Blue is a special program, and I am thrilled and thankful to be back and be a part of it,” Bailey said. “I look forward to working with this coaching staff and these players as we all work toward winning championships on the court and developing our players for future success.”
In his first stint with the Billikens, Bailey was part of a staff that helped the Billikens improve their win total each season, highlighted by the 2018-19 season’s 23-13 record, an Atlantic 10 Conference Championship title, and a bid to the NCAA Tournament. Known for his work with guards, he was instrumental in the emergence of SLU All-Conference guard Javon Bess, the 2019 A-10 Defensive Player of the Year. Bailey helped Bess improve his offensive game as well, and as a senior, Bess led the team with 15.3 ppg and 66 3-pointers.
On the recruiting front, the Chicago native has ties to his hometown as well as the Midwest, Northeast and South.
Bailey comes to SLU after serving two years as an assistant coach at South Carolina. He was hired as an assistant coach at UMass this offseason.
Bailey was an assistant coach at La Salle for six years before initially coming to SLU in 2016. He has also served assistant coaching stints at East Tennessee State, Maine, Chicago State and UAB. In all, Bailey has been a part of five NCAA Tournament teams.
During his time at La Salle, Bailey worked with All-Conference guards Earl Pettis, Ramon Galloway and Tyreek Duren. The Explorers’ backcourt helped them to a Sweet 16 appearance in 2012-13. Additionally, La Salle was fourth in the nation in 3-point field-goal percentage thanks in part to Bailey’s instruction.
Prior to his arrival at La Salle, Bailey served seven seasons as an assistant coach at ETSU, helping the Buccaneers to six conference titles, three NCAA Tournament berths and an NIT appearance. Bailey also served one-year stints at Maine (2002-03) and Chicago State (2001-02).
Bailey played at UAB for two years. As a senior in 1996-97, he led the team in assists and helped the Blazers to the NIT. Bailey was also tabbed UAB’s top defensive player that season.
It was also at UAB that Bailey began his coaching career. After completing his eligibility, he served as a student assistant coach and later as a graduate assistant. Bailey was part of the staff in 1999 when UAB appeared in the NCAA Tournament.