Will Bailey, who has more than 15 years of experience as an NCAA Division I assistant coach, was hired as an assistant coach on Travis Ford's staff in April 2016. He was brought on board by Coach Ford just a week after Ford was announced as head coach.
A Chicago native, Bailey is known for his work with guards. He came to SLU after spending six years at La Salle. Bailey 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, including the 2012-13 Explorers team that reached the Sweet 16.
While at SLU, Bailey has part of a staff that helped the Billikens improve their win total each season, highlighted by last year’s 23-13 record, an Atlantic 10 Conference Championship title, and a bid to the NCAA Tournament.
He was instrumental in the emergence of 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.
“I am thrilled to join Coach Ford’s staff here at Saint Louis, and I am eager to get started,” Bailey said at the time of his hire. “I’ve been familiar with the Billiken program for a long time, having played against and coached against SLU during my career. The expectations are going to be high here, and that is exciting. Coach Ford has a great vision for the program, and I couldn’t be happier to be a part of it.”
“We are excited about Will joining the Billikens Basketball family,” Ford said when announcing Bailey's hire. “He has a great reputation as one of the top assistant coaches in the country. Will is a relentless recruiter with great ties to Chicago, the Midwest, Northeast and South. He was an integral part of several NCAA Tournament teams, including when La Salle reached the Sweet 16 a few years ago.”
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.