Grace Basketball Coach Gary Bailey has been selected as the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan’s “Coach of the Year.”
BCAM: In only his 6th season as the Head Coach at Grace Bible College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Gary Bailey has turned the Grace Bible College basketball program into one of the most respected programs inside and outside of the NCCAA. With five Midwest Regional championships, two Elite Eight appearances and four National Championships (2006, 2009, 2010, 2011), Grace has been re-writing the record books. With a school win mark of 21 that lasted for 46 years, the Tigers have posted season win totals of 28, 30, and 31 the last three years. The Tigers play a schedule of NCCAA, NCAA I, II, III, and NAIA teams. Grace is currently sitting at a record 59 straight wins in the NCCAA II. The Tigers have been ranked #1 in the country since January of 2009. Bailey has been named the NCCAA Midwest Region Coach of the Year for four seasons in a row. He also picked up his second NCCAA National Coach of the Year this season and was also selected as the CCSN (Christian College Sports Network) National Coach of the Year in 2011.
With an enrollment of just 200 students, Grace has had no problem playing with the much larger schools around the country and at home. Locally, the Tigers have collected wins in the past three seasons against local teams Cornerstone University, Hope College, Calvin College, Davenport University, Kuyper College, and Ferris State University.
Bailey now stands as the all-time win leader at Grace with 148 wins.
This past season the Tigers won their third straight national championship finishing the season at 31-7.
Coach Bailey will be honored at the BCAM Hall of Fame Banquet in Lansing on Friday, September 30th.
Former winners and year:2010-11 – Gary Bailey – Grace Bible College 2009-10 – Ryan Cottingham – Spring Arbor University 2008-09 – Greg Kampe – Oakland University 2007-08 – Tom Izzo – Michigan State University 2006-07 – Dave Hammer – Aquinas College 2005-06 – Ric Wesley – Grand Valley State University 2004-05 – Mike Yurner – Albion College 2003-04 – Steve Hawkins – Western Michigan University 2002-03 – Jay Smith – Central Michigan University 2001-02 – Kevin Kuke – Michigan Tech. University 2000-01 – Perry Watson – University of Detroit Mercy 1999-00 – Tom Izzo – Michigan State University 1998-99 – Kim Elders – Cornerstone University 1997-98 – Tom Izzo – Michigan State University 1996-97 – Fred Smith – Siena Heights College 1995-96 – Ben Braun – Eastern Michigan University 1994-95 – Glen Van Wieren – Hope College 1993-94 – Ron Hammye – Wayne State University 1992-93 – Steve Fisher – University of Michigan 1991-92 – Ed Douma – Calvin College 1990-91 – Tom Villemure – Grand Valley State University 1989-90 – Jud Heathcote – Michigan State University 1988-89 – Garth Pleasant – Michigan Christian College 1987-88 – Ben Braun – Eastern Michigan University 1986-87 – Charlie Coles – Central Michigan University Read the Grand Rapids Press coverage here: http://www.mlive.com/smallcolleges/grandrapids/index.ssf/2011/05/grace_bible_mens_basketball_co.html