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The Martha Layne Collins administration chose its head baseball coach from outside the school system, but no one can say Roy Bailey Jr. isn’t a hometown guy.
“He’s well acquainted with our system, and he has a tremendous baseball background,” Collins Principal Anthony Hatchell said. “We are allowed that option, to choose a para-professional.”
Bailey was a right-handed pitcher who played for Shelby County High School, then for the University of Kentucky for four years.
He went to play minor-league baseball, spending four years in the St. Louis Cardinals’ organization, where he played as high as Class A, compiling a 20-20 record with a 3.55 earned-run average in 183 games.
Bailey, 43, returned to Shelbyville to coach youth baseball and for 15 years has owned National Auto Consultants.
Bailey was drawn to the position by the prospect of starting and building a program.
“I enjoy working with kids. I enjoy the game,” he said. “I’ve learned from some of the best players and coaches over the years.”
Bailey cites his father, Roy Bailey Sr., and American Legion Coach Jim Wiley as his biggest influences, as well as several Major League Baseball coaches.
Bailey has coached with Wiley for the past 15 years. Wiley’s son, J.R. is the only assistant coach Bailey has chosen so far.
“I’ve grown up with his family,” he said. “We’ve coached together numerous times. He really knows the game.”
Bailey was announced as the head coach Wednesday. He said he’s preparing to get a team together for summer ball, which he can coach, and fall ball, which he won’t be allowed to coach.
Bailey has the opportunity to coach his son, Logan Bailey, who is a freshman now playing on Shelby County's junior varsity.
His older son Trey Bailey, is a senior pitcher for the Rockets. He said he’s looking forward to coaching kids that he’s coached on youth and all-star teams.
“We’ll be aggressive. ‘Course you always have to have pitching. We’ll develop pitchers,” Bailey said. “We have a lot of good players, and it will be fun to see what we can accomplish with them.”