Riley Bailey, who has spent eight seasons at East Central University as an assistant women’s soccer coach, has been elevated to the head post, it was announced Thursday by ECU Director of Athletics Brian DeAngelis.
Bailey, 35, replaces his sister, Heather Beam, who had served as head coach for 12 years since the second year of the program’s existence in 1997.
“I’m excited to get started. I’m honored that Brian and (interim president) Dr. (Duane) Anderson are giving me the opportunity to come in and run this program,” said Bailey. “Continuity is important. I have a relationship with the players we already have and we have an incoming class of freshmen who can really help us out.”
Bailey, no stranger to being a head coach on the collegiate level, actually just completed his second stint of five years as an assistant with the Lady Tigers. His first stint as an ECU assistant was from 1998-2000.
“I’ve enjoyed working with Heather and I appreciate the opportunity she has given me in coaching,” Bailey said. “I’ve always gone to her for advice and will continue to do so. But I know she’ll be excited to come to the games and watch as a fan.
“We have the same basic philosophy. In fact it’s pretty close. But I have some new ideas that we’ll definitely be implementing to try and step things up and take us up a notch.”
Bailey was the head coach at Lambuth University (Tenn.), an NAIA school, for two seasons (2001 and 2002). He guided that program to a 15-18-3 record during that span, including two postseason tournament playoff appearances. He also coached one All-American player, several all-conference players and numerous academic all-conference award winners. Both of his 2001 and 2002 Lambuth teams received National Soccer Coaches Association of America Team Academic honors.
Following his two-year stint at Lambuth, Bailey spent one season as an assistant on the staff at Angelo State University in which he helped guide the Rambelles back to the postseason for the first time in five years.
He has a wealth of miscellaneous soccer coaching experience. He has conducted coaches’ clinics for the Oklahoma Soccer Association, Oklahoma Olympic Development Program, South Texas Soccer Association and the Jackson (Tenn.) Area Soccer Association. He also started and coached the Ada High School soccer program in 2000-01 before heading to Tennessee.
Bailey is a native of Allen, Texas and is licensed with the United States Soccer Federation and holds several NSCAA diplomas. He received his bachelor’s degree in marketing from Oklahoma Christian University in 1995 and a master’s in secondary education from ECU in 1999.
He was recently married to Shelley Reynolds Bailey a native of Wichita, Kan.