Let me give you a list of names, Bo Hagan, Bill Peterson, Al Conover, Homer Rice, Ray Alborn, Watson Brown, Jerry Berndt, Fred Goldsmith, Ken Hatfield, and Todd Graham. That's fifty years of Rice coaching, and none of them did what David Bailiff did, win a conference title. Not since the venerable Jess Neely won a conference title in 1958 had Rice sat atop a league. David Bailiff did it in 2013.
None of those guys, not even Neely took Rice to three straight bowl games, as Bailiff did from 2012 to 2014. No Rice coach ever took the Owls to multiple ten win seasons. David Bailiff won ten in 2008 and 2013. A flash in the pan, Todd Graham won seven games and bolted for Tulsa, not Bailiff, he won and stayed. Goldsmith parlayed a couple of six-win seasons into a job at Duke, but Bailiff stayed.
Today the Owls announced that Bailiff was done at Rice, ending eleven years that included a conference title, three bowl wins, and four bowl appearances. His 57 wins are second in Rice history, behind on Neely who spent 27 years in West U. No one will ever get 58. We feel safe in saying that.
It was time for Bailiff to go, winning consistently at Rice is almost impossible, but he came closest. The last two seasons his Owls fell to 4-20 including 1-11 this year. Bailiff did things the right way at Rice. In this era that's saying something. Best of luck coach Bailiff. You've earned a good rest.
Here's the great Luke Turner, summing up David Bailiff better than we can.