Rice announces David Bailiff to return in 2017

- David Bailiff, the second-winningest coach in Rice football history, will continue to run the Owls program in 2017.

He has two years left on his contract.

“Yesterday, Coach Bailiff and I met to review the 2016 season and to discuss the state of the Rice football program,” said Joe Karlgaard, Rice athletics director, in a statement released by the school. “While we are all disappointed with the results, there is a plan to turn things around under his leadership next season and I have made the expectations for 2017 very clear to Coach.

”After two straight seasons without a winning record, we need to acknowledge that we are not meeting an acceptable competitive standard for this university.  Our ambitions remain very high.  We expect to be competitive in every game and to compete for conference championships.  When nearly two-thirds of college football programs participate in bowl games every year—including slots for half of Conference USA members—bowl games should be a regular part of our seasons. 

“Our season-ending meeting yesterday gives me hope that Coach Bailiff can meet these expectations next year.  He is prepared to make substantial changes to the football program to ensure our student-athletes are put in the best position possible to be successful on the field.  We will work together to carefully implement those changes.

“David, his staff, and his student-athletes have consistently represented Rice in a first-class manner throughout his ten seasons as our head coach.  Together, we have accomplished much competitively as well, including four bowl appearances and a conference championship.  It is also important to acknowledge that, despite our disappointments this season, our team did not quit.  That’s a great testament to David’s leadership. I am asking that all Owls fans continue to support our program and to believe that we will get back to our winning ways in 2017.”

While going 8-16 over the last two seasons, including 3-9 in 2016, Bailiff has had tremendous success at Rice.

He led the Owls to its first outright conference championship in 56 years in 2013, and is the only coach at Rice to go to three consecutive bowl games.

“No one is more disappointed in the 2016 season’s results than me and I am resolved to do whatever is necessary to have success once again,” Bailiff said in a statement released by the school.  “While many factors have contributed to our performance these past two seasons, I am focused on my responsibility as our head football coach.  I am working with Joe on implementing the changes we need to be successful while also preserving the terrific attitude of our players who fought through a difficult season this year.  I am excited to move forward and grateful for the support of our fans and this university.”




In 10 seasons at

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