SALINA — Former McPherson College cross country and track and field star Brent Bailey, who has been Kansas Wesleyan’s head coach in those sports for the past six years, has resigned.
Bailey is returning to his native Colorado to help his family with its ranching operation.
"I have made a tough decision to be closer to family in Colorado," Bailey said in a press release. "It is with sadness that I leave KWU. My athletes have always been my family and are special to me."
Bailey has coached more than 50 All-KCAC performers. He’s had 20 athletes make the national meet in cross country and track.
"Brent did a wonderful job building a strong base for the cross country and track program," said Mike Hermann, Kansas Wesleyan Director of Athletics. "He was a tireless recruiter, and, most importantly, he insured that every student-athlete in his program had a quality experience. We are fortunate that he's left the program in great shape for the next coach.
He led the women's cross country team to a KCAC Championship in 2013 while earning KCAC Women's Cross Country Coach of the Year. That team qualified for the NAIA National Championships and in 2015 he led the men's cross country team to an appearance in the NAIA National Championships.
"I feel strongly that this fall both men's and women's cross country teams will be successful as I have spent years building this program up and instilling the right attitude with each runner," Bailey said. "From when I arrived with one athlete and no facility to leaving with the largest squad in KWU history and the only cross country coach in school history to coach both a men's and women's team to nationals, I know that I have made an impact and that this program will continue to succeed. God has blessed me greatly, and I will cherish my memories at KWU."
Bailey came to Kansas Wesleyan after spending two years as a graduate assistant coach at Baker University,
A native of Limon, Colo., Bailey earned dual degrees at McPherson College in Physical Education and Business Administration with minors in Accounting and Finance. Bailey was elected and served as the student body president. On the course and on the track for the Bulldogs, Bailey was a four-time All-KCAC performer in cross country and qualified for the NAIA National Championships. He was also a KCAC champion in the 1,500 and earned All-KCAC honors10 times. Bailey also continued his education at Baker University where he earned his Master of Liberal Arts degree.