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Bailey named regional Coach of the Year

Gary Bailey, of Cedar Springs, and head coach of the Grace Bible College Tigers mens basketball team, was named Regional Coach of the Year. The Grace Bible Tigers won their regional championship and will play in the national tournament this week. They are coached by Cedar Springs resident Gary Bailey, (second from left.) CTA principal Dan George (second from right) is an assistant coach at Grace.

Gary Bailey, of Cedar Springs, and head coach of the Grace Bible College Tigers mens basketball team, was named Regional Coach of the Year.

The Grace Bible Tigers won their regional championship and will play in the national tournament this week. They are coached by Cedar Springs resident Gary Bailey, (second from left.) CTA principal Dan George (second from right) is an assistant coach at Grace.

The Grace Bible Tigers won their regional championship and will play in the national tournament this week. They are coached by Cedar Springs resident Gary Bailey, (second from left.) CTA principal Dan George (second from right) is an assistant coach at Grace.

Gary Bailey, Cedar Springs resident and head coach of the Grace Bible College Tigers men’s basketball team, was awarded his second consecutive NCCAA DII Midwest Regional Coach of the Year honor last weekend.

This is the sixth time Coach Bailey has received the award in his 10-year collegiate coaching career. He has led the Tigers to a 19-13 record so far this season, including a Regional Championship Title and an appearance to the upcoming NCCAA National Tournament on March 12-14.

The Tigers clinched their regional championship last weekend, when they defeated Maranatha Baptist University 80-65. The win earned the Tigers a guaranteed bid to the NCCAA DII National Tournament held in Circleville, OH at Ohio Christian University.

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Gary Bailey inducted into Grace Bible Athletic Hall of Fame


Cedar Springs resident and Grace Bible College Men’s Basketball Head Coach, Gary Bailey, was inducted into the Grace Bible College Athletic Hall of Fame in ceremonies on October 12, at the Aldrich Center on the GBC campus. Also inducted was Jodi Kline, women’s basketball standout at Grace from 2004-2008.

Bailey was named the Tigers head coach in 2005 and came to Grace with a strong winning tradition. As a player at Wheelersburg High School in southern Ohio, he helped the Pirates to a 64-4 record over four years. Upon graduation, he played at Jordan College, in Cedar Springs, where he helped the Suns to winning records from 1978-1982. Associate Head Coach at Grace, Dan George, the head coach at Jordan College in those years, recruited and signed Bailey as a scholarship athlete at Jordan. The two have remained friends since and Coach George was the master of ceremonies for Bailey’s induction Saturday night.

Gary Bailey coaching during a game.

Gary Bailey coaching during a game.

George joked with the gathering, “This is not the guy I recruited in 1978. To be sure, some things are still the same. He still likes his Ohio State Buckeyes and he can still hit the 22-foot bank shot from the wing. But his knees don’t work nearly as well. His hair is gray and there is a lot less of it. And he’s a lot smarter now than he was in 1978. And the guy I recruited looked a lot more like Donny Osmond.”

Bailey also coached at Pineview Boys Home in Evart, Michigan for eight years, compiling a 153-31 record before coaching at Grace.

In 8 seasons coaching at Grace, Bailey’s accomplishments are nothing short of remarkable.

All-time leader in wins at Grace with 190

Coached GBC to six Regional Titles

Coached GBC to five National Championships, including four consecutively

Most National Championships of any men’s coach in NCCAA History

Teams have averaged over 23 wins a year

Over the last eight seasons, the Tiger’s have a 126-20 record against NCCAA teams nationally and an NCCAA Regional record of 77-8.

NCCAA Midwest Region Coach of the year 4 times (2008, 2009, 2010, & 2011)

NCCAA National Coach of the Year 2 times (2009 & 2011)

The Christian College Sports Network Coach of the Year 2011

The Glen VanWieren (Hope College) Champions of Character Coach of the Year in 2012

The Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan College Coach of the Year in 2011

During the run of four consecutive national championships, from 2009-2012, Coach Bailey’s Grace teams established a record 69 consecutive NCCAA wins, a record that may never be broken.

Coached 13 players named Academic All American.

Coached 25 NCCAA All Region selections & 12 NCCAA All Americans

Coached 9 players named to the NCCAA National All-tournament Team and 5 players selected as the tournament MVP

Coached 2 players named the Pete Maravich Award winner as the top player in the NCCAA (Allen Durham & Cory Jamieson)

It should be noted that Bailey and his teams accomplished all of the above while playing the toughest competition that he could schedule including NCAA DI, DII, and DII and NAIA programs.

Perhaps one of the best measures of a man is what his competitors and members of the coaching profession say about him.

“He certainly has had a big impact on Grace Bible College itself but I’d go even bigger in that, because of his integrity and influence, Grace has had an impact on the bigger community. Because Grace Men’s Basketball has been able to compete with (and beat) colleges in West Michigan I think Grace Bible College as a whole is now seen as an institution of higher learning on a par with so many more schools.” –Kevin Vandestreek, Head Basketball Coach, Calvin College

“Coach Bailey has always impressed me as a man of character, honor and integrity. He understands how to win with dignity and is willing to share this knowledge with his players…I have learned a ton from Coach Bailey and am glad to join in his tribute as he is inducted into the Grace Bible College Athletics Hall of Fame.” –Matt Neil, Head Basketball Coach, Hope College

“Gary is one of the best coaches in the state of Michigan, all divisions included.  What he has done in such a short time at Grace Bible is remarkable. I appreciate the fact that he is willing to schedule anyone. Gary has instilled in his teams confidence and a ‘fear nobody’ mindset. Coach Bailey is one of the classiest coaches that I know. He does things the right way, without compromising any of his standards.  His teams are always well-coached and well-prepared.” –Coach Kim Elders, Head Basketball Coach, Cornerstone University

“I have never had a more amiable relationship with a coach who won every game our teams competed in. Gary has been a friend, a confidant, and has provided a model for building a program that balances athletic excellence with Christian virtue. He demonstrates admiration and respect for his opponents and their efforts. He excels in all areas of the game as a coach, but more importantly seeks to instill godly character into his student athletes. If I had to pick a coach for my son, Gary would be at the top of my list. Congratulations to Grace for inducting a true winner into your Hall of Fame!” –Neil Ring, Head Basketball Coach, Bob Jones University (formerly head coach at Maranatha Baptist Bible College)

“This is a great honor for one of the best coaches in NCCAA history. What I appreciate most about our many battles of competition is the genuine friendship that we have developed over the years.  You have challenged me directly and indirectly how to be a winner beyond the game of basketball, and for that, I am forever grateful for our friendship.  Continue to be a reflector for Christ!  Congratulations, my friend! Well deserved!” –Jon Mack, Head Men’s Basketball Coach, Valley Forge Christian College

Behind every successful man is a patient and good woman. Gary has been married to his wife, Danette, for 32 years. He has two children, Kirby 30, an All American basketball player at Grace and a member of the Hall of Fame, and a daughter Kylie and son in law Kyle. He has two grandchildren, Christian and Kennedy Grace (appropriately named).



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Grace Tigers win national championship

Grace Tigers, coached by Cedar Springs residents Gary Bailey and Dan George, are national champions again.

Coach Gary Bailey, of Cedar Springs, and assistant coach Dan George, also of Cedar Springs, led the Tigers of Grace Bible College to their fourth straight national championship last weekend.

It was an emotional but rewarding final game to end the careers of seven seniors, as the Tigers held off a talented and persistent Valley Forge Christian College team, 77-71, to win the 2012 NCCAA II National Championship and finish the season with a 25-10 record. For the seniors, it was their fourth consecutive title.

“‘FINISH’ has been our motto,” said senior captain and CCSN Player of the Game, Matt Kurtz (Lowell).  “We want to make that a lifetime goal, not just for basketball.”  Seniors Kurtz, Cameron Myers, David Steenstra, John Oostema, Carl Getty, Ryan Krombeen, and Cory Jamieson finished well.

The Tigers built a 13-point lead at the end of the first half, 43-30, on double digit scoring from seniors Cory Jamieson (Wayland) and Ryan Krombeen (Calvin Christian), their 3-2 zone defense, and Krombeen’s rebounding. But there was no quit in the Patriots. Valley Forge came out with intense pressure at the beginning of the second half and the Tiger lead evaporated as they found themselves trailing by four midway through the second half. But there was no quit in the Tigers, either, as they fought back and built a lead of 8 points with 2 minutes to go and held off the Patriots for the win.

It was a total team effort that sealed the deal for the Tigers.  Kurtz and Krombeen combined for 26 rebounds.  Jamieson led all scorers with 23 points, junior Zach Schutte (Calvin Christian) had 19 points and 5 rebounds, Krombeen had 17 points, and senior John Oostema (Grand Rapids Christian) completed the double figure scoring for the Tigers with 10 points. Schutte and Jamieson were named to the All-Tournament Team and Jamieson was named Tournament MVP.

“We have tremendous respect for Coach John Mack and the Valley Forge team,” said Head Coach Gary Bailey, who had his father, John, on the bench for the game. “They were tremendous competitors and worthy opponents.” For Bailey and Assistant Coach Dan George, who have been together for seven years at Grace, this was their fifth national championship—2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012.

The Tigers wish to thank all of their fans and player families who have supported them this year!

Story courtesy of Grace Bible College


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