Former University of Tennessee standout Carey Bailey is entering his fourth season as defensive line coach at Lamar University.
The former head coach at Howard University (2007-10) brings nearly two decades of coaching experience into his position. The Cardinals defensive line gained a ton of recognition not only in the Southland Conference, but across the country in each of the past two seasons. Defensive end Jesse Dickson became one of the most imposing forces in the country under Bailey's guidance. Dickson finished 2013 ranked among the league's top 10 in tackles, tied for third in sacks and was second in tackles for losses.
National publications began to take notice of Dickson's work on the field. Shortly after receiving first-team All-Southland honors, Dickson was named the SLC Defensive Player of the Year by College Sports Madness. He followed that up by becoming Lamar's first All-America selection since it resurrected the program.
Between Dickson, and classmate Mark Murrill at the other end, the Cardinals had one of the more dominant one-two punches that has come through the Southland in a long time. The duo combined to record 119 total tackles, 25 tackles for losses, 7.5 sacks and one interception in 2013. Throw in Omar Tebo (37 tackles, 6 TFLs) who fought his way into the starting lineup despite his underclassman status, and Bailey's troops presented a very imposing force.
Carey's line had a similar impact in 2014, but with new players. Senior Joe Okafor was moved from the interior back to the edge, while sophomore Omar Tebo took over at the tackle position. Okafor became one of the league's more intimidating pass rushers finishing among the league leaders in sacks, while Tebo earned second-team All-Southland honors. All three starters on the LU defensive line earned all-conference recognition at season's end.
Carey's troops played a huge role in helping Lamar tie a school record for wins only five years after bringing back the program. The Cardinals put an exclamation point on their most wins since 1974 by knocking off nationally ranked rival, McNeese State, on a last second field goal.
In addition to his linemen, Carey has also produced some of the nation's specialists. Led by CFPA National Punter Returner of the Year, Kevin Johnson, the Cardinals finished second in nation averaging better than 16 yards per return with three touchdowns in 2013.
Bailey has coached 14 players who went on to play professional football, and has coached 23 all-conference players and five All-Americans.
Prior to taking the top spot at Howard, Bailey spent two seasons as the defensive line coach at Minnesota. The Gophers played in a pair of bowl games while Bailey was on staff. Bailey also served as defensive line coach at Oklahoma State (2004) and Middle Tennessee State (2003), helping the Cowboys to the 2004 Alamo Bowl.
Bailey spent five seasons at Louisiana-Lafayette (1998-2002) coaching the defensive line, special teams and linebackers. During Bailey's tenure, the Ragin' Cajuns ranked second in the Sun Belt Conference in total defense, twice led the league in punt returns and also led the conference in fumbles recovered and sacks.
His first full-time coaching job came at Virginia Military Institute where he was defensive line coach from 1995-98. Bailey also worked at West Virginia University as a graduate assistant.
While a player at Tennessee, Bailey helped the Volunteers to a pair of Southeastern Conference championships and four straight bowl appearances. As a junior, Bailey led Tennessee in sacks and tackles for loss. He earned his diploma from Tennessee in 1992.
Bailey and his wife Angela have two daughters, Evann Leigh and Leah Nicole.