by Benny Benton
WILSON, N.C. – William “Junior” Bailey, head softball coach and athletics director at Pitt Community College for the past 10 years, has been chosen by Barton College to direct its fastpitch program, school officials announced Friday.
Bailey’s teams won nearly 70 percent of their games during his decade with PCC, compiling a combined record of 316-147 (.683). He guided Pitt’s Bulldogs to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) National Softball Tournament three times after claiming Region 10 Tournament championships.
Bailey was named Region 10 Coach of the Year three times, and he coached numerous players to all-region acclaim. During his tenure, eight players earned NJCAA National Player of the Week honors. In addition to finding success on the field, Bailey’s student-athletes also performed well in the classroom, posting a team grade point average of 3.0 or greater every season of his tenure.
His softball leadership roles included serving on the NJCAA Division II National Softball Committee and in several capacities within Region 10, including assistant women’s region director and chair of the softball committee.
As PCC’s athletic director, Bailey provided oversight to the department and Pitt’s four sports – baseball, basketball, softball and volleyball – as well as leadership to more than 20 personnel members and 100 student-athletes.
“It was clear as the search committee researched Coach Bailey that he was the perfect hire, at the perfect time, for Barton College softball,” said Todd Wilkinson, Barton’s director of athletics. “He meets all the primary attributes on the hiring checklist: winning background; promotes student-athlete academic excellence; leader in his community; and passion to work on and be engaged with the Barton campus. Additionally, his familiarity with recruiting eastern North Carolina will be valuable as he builds a program of success.
“His infectious personality of positive energy, passion for success, and work ethic will provide the Bulldog softball student-athletes a great role model and mentor that will challenge them to do their very best each day. I am excited for the softball student-athletes, Barton campus community and greater Wilson community that Junior Bailey is a Barton College Bulldog!”
Bailey joined the staff at Pitt in 2005 after spending a very successful decade teaching and coaching in the Pitt County Schools system. During that time, he achieved a high school softball record of 101-16 and a middle school record of 75-9. One of his high school teams reached the third round of the state playoffs, the best showing in that program’s history.
At Barton, Bailey will take over a program that went 21-26 overall and 9-13 in Conference Carolinas last season. The Lady Bulldogs reached the league tournament as the No. 8 seed for the second year in a row before losing a pair of one-run games to the No. 1 and No. 3 seeds.
“I am just excited to be taking on this opportunity to grow the Bulldog softball program,” Bailey said. “There is so much potential here to be a winning program. When I walked on campus, I had a great feel in meeting all of the people here, but what I was really impressed with was the athletes that I was able to meet with. There is a great core of softball players that are ready to hit the ground and be a part of building something they can be proud of. I feel that there is strong support within and outside of the athletic department.
“I definitely will miss the people and players that I have had the privilege to coach and that have coached me in so many ways at Pitt Community College. Without them, I would not have had this opportunity. However, I also am pumped and ready for this great challenge to make Barton softball a first choice for some amazing young people!”
Bailey holds a bachelor’s degree in exercise and sports science from East Carolina University.
He will begin his duties as head coach effective July 1.