There’s no place like home.
The Minden Crimson Tide have hired Minden native Rennie Bailey to succeed Alan Shaw as head coach of the boys basketball program.
“This is home,” Bailey said. “But saying that is not always about what you want or what my will is. I just think this is the will of God. There is a time and season for all things, and this is the time and the season for me to be here.”
Bailey, who graduated from Minden in 1979, has held coaching jobs at Nicholls State, Louisiana Tech, Louisiana-Lafayette and Stephen F. Austin, among others.
“I’ve never really thought about coaching high school basketball,” Bailey said. “I never really thought about coming back to Minden to coach high school basketball, but I have thought that I would come back home to Minden and retire.”
As qualified as Bailey is for the position, competition wasn’t something he had to worry about during the interview process.
“He was our only applicant,” Minden High Principal Robin Tucker said. “He come’s to us from Nicholls State University, but he’s a Minden native. He was looking to move back closer to his family and we’re excited to have him here as a part of our Minden High family.”
The job was posted and advertised during the month of June for two weeks and Bailey was the only coach who expressed interest, and that’s fine with Tucker.
“He reached out,” Tucker said. “It was just one of those timing things. It all lined up like it was supposed to.”
Most exciting to Bailey is the opportunity to have a lasting impact on the lives of young men and women in his hometown.
“I’m excited about the challenge,” Bailey said. “Because this thing is a lot bigger than just basketball. I want you to know that it’s about young lives, and I don’t think there are any other young lives that are more important than these kids at Minden. They are very important to me as I know they are to you.”
“There is a challenge about mentoring. There is a challenge about letting these young men and women know that they can be successful, and there is a calling on their life to be productive and come back home and give back.”
Bailey takes over a program that’s been pedestrian in recent years under long-time head coach Alan Shaw. The veteran coach was suspended due to a controversy over a possibly-fabricated LHSAA email, and never coached the Tide again. Shaw is still part of the faculty at Minden High as a counselor.
Tucker said she can not comment on the timeline of events that led to Shaw’s departure because it’s a, ‘personnel issue’, adding that Webster Parish Superintendent of Schools Dan Rawls is the only person authorized to comment on the matter. Rawls was asked about the situation at Monday’s School Board meeting, but offered no new information.
Bailey played basketball for the Bulldogs and graduated from Louisiana Tech in 1987 with a degree in health and physical education.
Bailey coached Tech legends P.J. Brown and Ron Ellis to the NBA and also recruited Gerrod King to Nicholls State in 1988 during his first full-time coaching stint. He returns home to Minden, where he will have every chance to re-build Minden basketball’s winning tradition.
“We are a people of pride, great pride,” Bailey said. “I take pride in this high school, I take great pride in this city, and I want to make a difference in this city and these kids that I mentor, teach and coach.
I just look forward to it. I’m excited to be here.”