Bailey takes over WCMS football program
The White County Middle School football program will be under new leadership when the 2019 season kicks off next year.
Robbie Bailey was approved by the board of education last week as the program's new head coach and will teach in the school's physical education department.
Bailey has spent the past two seasons as the head coach at Banks County Middle School, and has also worked at West Hall and East Hall high schools, and Rabun County Middle School, during his 20-year teaching and coaching career.
Bailey takes over the program from Jeremy Smith, who resigned earlier this spring after spending one year at the helm of the program.
Bailey has extensive coaching experience at both the varsity and middle school levels. He was a varsity assistant coach at both West Hall and East Hall, including serving as offensive coordinator during his stints at the two schools under Tim Marchman and Mike Newton. He was a varsity assistant coach for basketball during his time at West Hall.
Bailey was the head football coach for seven years at Rabun County, where he also served as a coach in the RCMS basketball program, including head coaching roles for three years.
At Banks County, Bailey was the head coach of the Lady Leopards' junior varsity basketball team this, as well as running the middle school football program.
Bailey is very familiar with the WCMS program as the two schools competed for several years in the Northeast Georgia Mountain League.
“When I was at Rabun, White County was in our league, so we played them every year,” Bailey said. “They always played hard, always had some good players. This is a good place. It's a good place to work, it's a good community, and I'm excited about being here.
Bailey held his first team meeting Tuesday night, meeting with a large group of parents and players at the WCMS cafeteria.
“We had a good turnout,” Bailey said. “I want the parents to know what our expectations are, understand what our vision is (for the program). I want them to know that we are going to take care of their kids. We are going to coach them hard and love them up. We want to teach more than just football. We're trying to raise quality young men.”
Bailey led Rabun County to a series of impressive winning seasons during his stint in Clayton, and then took a bit of a rebuilding job at Banks County, a situation similar to what he will be stepping into at WCMS.
“I think my experience will help with the program,” The program needs some stability. I will be the fourth head coach in four years, so I think they were looking for someone with experience, somebody that will bring stability to the program. We'll have two teams (7th and 8th grade), and we want to build up both teams.”
Bailey said one of the most important parts of the coach is building a relationship with the Warriors' varsity program. He wants to work hand-in-hand with the WCHS staff to help solidify the Warriors' future on the field.
“One of my mine objectives is to get the middle school program unified with the high school program,” Bailey said. “We want the transition from the middle school program to the high school program is be as smooth as possible. “I've been a middle school head coach for the last nine years, and my goal has been to do what the varsity is doing. The fundamentals are all the same things We want to run the the same offensive stuff, the same defensive stuff, use the same drills, and coach the kids the same way that they are being coached at the varsity level. I want to make it a seamless transition when they get to high school.”
Bailey worked with WCHS offensive coordinator Chad Bennett for six years at Rabun County, and knows most of the intricacies of the Warriors' spread offense.
“Chad is one of the most organized coaches I've been around,” Bailey said. “Other than some of the terminology, he's doing the same stuff we did at Rabun County, so that will definitely be an advantage for me coming into this job. Chad played a big role in my coming (to White County). He's been wanting me to come here for a while, and this time it worked out.”
Bailey already has a coaching staff in place. Henry Powell and Will Stonecypher are both back from last year's staff, while Will Havlen moves to the middle school staff after spending the past few years on high school staff. The staff will also include a pair of new teachers – Jacob Booke and Stephen Stuart. Booke and Stuart both played basketball at Truett McConnell University.
“I met with coaches Tuesday, and I'm excited about the staff,” Bailey said. “We're going to work next week. We are going to the varsity workouts, and I want the coaches to see how the varsity staff does things. We're going to sit down with the offensive and defensive staffs, and go over everything. Defensively, it will be a bit of an adjustment for me, but I'm going to work with Coach Cokely and the varsity (defensive) staff, and we'll get that done, and start teaching our kids. Next week will be a learning week for us, and then the kids will start June 10. We'll workout three times a week and try to hit the ground running.”