BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Trey Bailey sold St. Patrick athletic director Eddie Burger on a “vision of growth” for the Fighting Irish football program. That vision took the first step in becoming reality, as the school introduced Bailey as their newest head football coach at an on-campus press conference Wednesday.
“I think any time somebody’s focus is on the future and they don’t get real clouded up in the present, you really start to get an idea of what they’re about, what they’re program’s gonna be built on,” Burger said.
As the Fighting Irish look to improve from back-to-back three-win seasons, that vision includes building a feeder system with local Catholic elementary schools, something Burger has said they lacked in the past.
“That’s priority (number) one,” Bailey said. “We’re going to take care of what we’ve got right now, and we’re going to work to extend our brand. That includes the six elementary schools. We’re gonna get in there, and we’re gonna walk the halls here and get these kids too.”
In the mean time, Bailey is optimistic about St. Patrick’s prospects for 2019.
“Sixteen returning starters, that fires you up,” Bailey said. “That lets you know there’s a lot of game experience. I believe that that they’ve got a general understanding of what they need to do. They have improved the last couple of years, so they’re just excited for that next step.”
The Fighting Irish posted a 6-36 total record in the previous four seasons under former head coach Jim Bloomfield. Bailey, his replacement, amassed just six wins in his previous three seasons as head coach of the Richland Rangers.
Bailey understands that those numbers may cause concern for some, but believes the future at St. Patrick is bright.
“I would tell them to watch what we do every day,” Bailey said with a smile. “Just watch us, and the wins will come.”