BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – Well, we could go “he’s baaaack” or use the tired “third time’s a charm” adage, but maybe it’s just best to say that Fort Madison has found itself a pretty qualified new head volleyball coach for next year.
Kent Bailey who had stints as FMHS’s head volleyball coach in the late 90s and early 2000s was officially introduced by FMHS Athletic Director Andy Mitchell as the new varsity volleyball coach Friday afternoon as part of a meet-and-greet with Bailey and new head football coach Tony Shiffman.
Members of the media, the school, and the community turned out to shake hands with some pretty solid implants in the Fort Madison Athletic Department.
Bailey is no stranger to anyone in the district, or in this part of the state, in girls athletics. He can typically be found with a decanter of coffee going in one direction or another lending support and guidance in girls softball, track, volleyball, and basketball.
Kent, and his wife Wendy, have brought three girls through the FMHS halls during the past decade and have another at the junior high level. And when he’s not coaching something within the district, Bailey’s helping coordinate and support traveling teams in most of the aforementioned sports.
He said Friday he’s looking forward to the challenge of coaching again.
“I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to work with the kids again. I’m looking to continue the success of the program and I appreciate the opportunity to be the head coach again.”
He said FMHS has a tradition of success and a youth program that has produced returns on that investment of time and energy. He said those kids have a lot of energy and will backfill the program nicely.
“If you look on the walls in this school, we’ve won a number of conference championships, a conference championship this last year, and when we got to districts we had a lot of support going into that, so there’s a lot of support in this community, especially with Holy Trinity in town, as well.”
“We’ve got a lot of kids that are playing club volleyball and that program’s strong,” Bailey said. “We’ve got kids that wanna play and are excited to play. Some of those are already anxious to get in the gym for summer workouts.”
But he said he’s still very excited about the team he’s inheriting and being able to go out and compete day one.
“We’ve got a strong group of seniors this year, so we’re going off that. After that, we’ve got a lot of kids who have played volleyball… really love volleyball, and you get those kids and there’s some real talent there.
Bailey said August 7 is the first day of practice and then two weeks later, they play in a tournament in Danville. He said the team will also participate in a summer league in Burlington.