Justin Bailey was hired as the new assistant men’s basketball coach during the summer.
Bailey replaced former assistant coach Jason Owens who is now coaching at Southeast Missouri State University.
Previously, Bailey was the head coach at the University of Arkansas–Fort Smith (UAFS) but says he is enjoying Pittsburg.
“… So far so good,” Bailey said. “The community of Pittsburg of course loves Pitt State (and) they welcomed me with open arms… I’m very excited to get things started with the basketball season and be a part of (Pittsburg) State University. So, it’s been great so far.”
Before his time at UAFS, Bailey was an assistant coach at Lamar University and then was promoted to recruiting coordinator for the 2017-2018 season. Prior to that, Bailey was an assistant coach at UAFS. Bailey was also the head cross country coach at UAFS. He was a graduate assistant before that at Arizona State University. He also played basketball for two seasons while attending UAFS and then three seasons at University of Texas–Permian Basin.
Bailey earned a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from University of Texas–Permian Basin in 2010 and a master’s degree in higher and postsecondary education from Arizona State University in 2012.
According to Bailey, he has known he wanted to coach since high school.
“I decided I wanted to coach when I was in high school,” Bailey said. “I used to coach a summer league team back at home and being able to be (a) mentor to those young kids and having them be successful was something that I enjoyed a lot. So, I wanted… to become a coach after high school and then I played in college and played for different coaches and worked for different coaches. It became evident (that this was) my passion in life. So, (I) always wanted to coach, always.”
Bailey says the tradition of Pitt State and the athletic department specifically drew him to coaching for PSU.
“…It speaks volumes for the pride they have for success here,” Bailey said. “Coach Anderson, he’s a veteran in the basketball community. As a young coach, I still have a lot to learn and I know coaching under him and working with him will expand my basketball knowledge and help me grow as a person as well. So, those two things for sure definitely attracted me to Pitt State.”
Bailey is looking forward to the upcoming basketball season, which begins at the end of October, and to seeing the community and PSU students supporting the team.
“(I am) just looking forward to having a great season. (I am) looking forward to students coming out, and especially the community.., to come out for the games and support us. We think we’ll have a good year this year.”
The first match of the season is on Thursday, October 31 against the University of Kansas in Lawrence at 7 p.m.