UPDATE>> Rice has released a statement confirming that Bailiff will return next season.
Via AD Joe Karlgaard:
"Yesterday, Coach Bailiff and I met to review the 2016 season and to discuss the state of the Rice football program. While we are all disappointed with the results, there is a plan to turn things around under his leadership next season and I have made the expectations for 2017 very clear to Coach.
After two straight seasons without a winning record, we need to acknowledge that we are not meeting an acceptable competitive standard for this university. Our ambitions remain very high. We expect to be competitive in every game and to compete for conference championships. When nearly two-thirds of college football programs participate in bowl games every year—including slots for half of Conference USA members—bowl games should be a regular part of our seasons.
Our season-ending meeting yesterday gives me hope that Coach Bailiff can meet these expectations next year. He is prepared to make substantial changes to the football program to ensure our student-athletes are put in the best position possible to be successful on the field. We will work together to carefully implement those changes.
David, his staff, and his student-athletes have consistently represented Rice in a first-class manner throughout his ten seasons as our head coach. Together, we have accomplished much competitively as well, including four bowl appearances and a conference championship. It is also important to acknowledge that, despite our disappointments this season, our team did not quit. That’s a great testament to David’s leadership.
I am asking that all Owls fans continue to support our program and to believe that we will get back to our winning ways in 2017."
David Bailiff will return as the head coach at Rice in 2017, sources shared with FootballScoop today. Mark Berman has also reported the same.
Bailiff went 3-9 this season, and was 5-7 in 2015. Prior to those two years, he ripped off a number of accomplishments in his 10 years leading the program and is very well liked and respected among his coaching peers for the way he runs his program. Bailiff booked a 10-3 mark with a Conference USA West Division championship and a Texas Bowl victory in 2008, and recorded three consecutive bowl seasons from 2012-14, peaking with a 10-4 season and a Conference USA championship in 2013.
All this at a program with one conference championship since 1957 prior to Bailiff's arrival and just 12 bowl appearances in its entire history. Between the academic requirements, the in-state and in-city competition, the facilities and Rice's status as a private school in a league of public schools, Bailiff has set a modern standard of success at a program where it's simply not easy to win.
A coach's coach -- just ask Tom Herman for his thoughts on him -- Bailiff hails from Dallas and has spent all but five seasons of his professional life in Texas (and those five years were at New Mexico). Bailiff played at Southwest Texas State (now Texas State) and has spent the majority of his coaching career in San Marcos as a GA, defensive line coach, defensive coordinator and, finally, as head coach from 2004-06 before taking the Rice job.
It's really good to see the administration at Rice recognize what they have in Bailiff and allow him the opportunity to get things back to where they once were under his leadership.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.