By David Brock
On Tuesday night before a packed booster club meeting, Winder-Barrow High School head football coach Heath Webb announced former University of Georgia and National Football League standout Boss Bailey as the latest addition to his staff.
“If you’re a Georgia fan, you know his name and you know his face,” said Webb. “We’re super happy to have Coach Bailey on board.”
Bailey, a native of Folkston, brings impressive credentials to the WBHS program.
A three-year starter at Georgia and member of the 2002 SEC Championship team, he was a first-team All-SEC linebacker as well as a semifinalist for the Butkus and Lombardi Awards as a senior.
“I’m excited to be here and excited to get to work with these guys,” said Bailey. “I’m ready to get going.”
Bailey was drafted in the second round by the Detroit Lions with the 34th pick overall in 2003 and was named to the All-Rookie team by ESPN.
He played in Detroit for five seasons before concluding his career with Denver in 2008, where he teamed with older brother and fellow UGA star Champ Bailey.
“You see all of this stuff, and its great stuff, but it’s not what is most important,” said Webb. “I start with three criteria when hiring coaches. First, hire great people. Secondly, they need to be hard working and willing to learn and understand what we do. And lastly is football knowledge. Coach Bailey had ‘been there and done that’ obviously as a tremendous player. But, more importantly, he’s a tremendous person and tremendous coach.”
While Bailey is new to Winder-Barrow he is not new to high school coaching. He previously served with WBHS assistant David Darling on the staff at Jackson County in 2013-2014, and that relationship played a big part in drawing him to Winder-Barrow.
“David has been reaching out to me since he came on board here last year,” said Bailey. “I decided to take a year off last year after leaving Jackson County, and I hated it. I’m football through and through. I was ready to get back in it and this seemed to be the perfect fit.”
Bailey, who along with his wife Amber has four children, isn’t sure yet what position he will coach.
“It will be on the defensive side of the ball,” Webb said. “We still need to have a staff meeting about it and see where everyone fits.”