Besides coaching for GRRA, Mike Bailey was the Head Coach for Michigan State University Men's Crew until August 2012, when he accepted a position as Assistant Head Coach for Purdue University Crew.
Mike was a coxswain for the University of Wisconsin rowing team from 1980-1985 and was the assistant coach of the men’s program from 1985-87, helping Wisconsin win two Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) team trophies and the 1986 National Championship.
Bailey then served as head coach at Loyola Marymount University from 1987 to 1989 and the University of California-Santa Barbara (UCSB) from 1989 to 1993. While at UCSB, Bailey’s teams won three consecutive heavyweight and lightweight eight state college championships, two San Diego Crew Classic championships and six West Coast titles. Bailey’s boats have made five finals appearances at the National Championships, placing third in the straight four and winning the open four in 1990. His UCSB lightweight eight also became the first west coast lightweight crew to break the Ivy League’s stranglehold in the finals, placing fourth in the 1990 championship. The UCSB crew of the 1990-1991 was recently inducted into the school’s sports hall of fame.
In 1993, Bailey returned to Madison where he served as assistant coach of UW-Madison program for one year. He then became the head coach of the Mendota Rowing Club Juniors, taking the women’s four to its first regional championship in eight years.
In the summer of 2006 Bailey once again served as an assistant volunteer coach with the nationally ranked UW-Madison varsity men’s program, where he stayed until being hired away by the Milwaukee School of Engineering and the Milwaukee Rowing Club in February of 2007. Coach Bailey took the MRC Juniors to new highs, with the girls 8 making their first ever finals appearance at the midwest regionals while finishing 3rd at the Canadian Henley, and the boy’s team making their first ever high school nationals appearance in the 4+ (13th).
Shattering all expectations, the MSOE men’s novice rowing team became the first program in more than 15 years to qualify for the Grand Finals of the Dad Vail Regatta in their inaugural year (2007-2008), defeating 10 of 11 Big Ten schools along the way. MSOE’s novice lightweight eight took the silver, with the novice heavyweight eight placing 4th. MSOE’s second novice eight finished their season undefeated among the small schools, winning the Indianapolis and Grand Valley Invitationals. In 2009 the MSOE lightweight novice 8 placed 1st at the Dad Vails Regatta by over 9 seconds.
In Bailey’s first year as head coach at Michigan State University, he led the Spartans to a record number of total medals throughout the fall and spring seasons. Coaching many successful boats that include the lightweight women’s varsity 4+ silver at ACRA’s, the men’s varsity 8+ to 5th place at ACRA’s, and the men’s novice lightweight 8+ to gold at Dad Vail’s, Bailey was selected as the ACRA Coach of the Year.