Former WL baseball coach wins award for ethics
For Oregon State University assistant baseball coach and former West Linn High School head coach Pat Bailey, instilling strong values in his players has always been a top priority and something that has become second nature for him.
'I've always viewed coaching as my mission field and to just try to live by example,' Bailey said.
And, in his five years with the Beavers, his style of coaching hasn't gone unnoticed.
That's why Bailey recently received the prestigious Ethics in Coaching award from the American Baseball Coach's Association.
Bailey was nominated by a fellow coach and didn't give it much more thought when he was informed that he was up for the award.
'I thought 'yeah, right.' They're not going to give it to me,' Bailey said.
But he was shocked a short time later when he was informed that he was selected as a finalist for the award and then floored when he was told that he had won.
The award is given each year to a coach who "represents the highest standards in sportsmanship, integrity, character and ethics' according to the ABCA website.
'I try to teach my players to respect their opponent and to teach them properly. That was always a big thing for me when I was a head coach and I know it's always been important to Pat (Casey) as well,' Bailey said, speaking about Oregon State's head baseball coach.
Bailey and Casey have had a strong working relationship since Bailey took the job, coming over from being the head coach at George Fox University in Newberg where he won a national title, and the pair share a lot of similarities both on and off the field.
'Pat's a very humble guy. You see it in interviews. He's always talking about the players first and never mentions himself,' Bailey said of Casey.
Bailey received the award at the annual ABCA conference in Chicago in front of thousands of fellow coaches.
As an assistant coach, Bailey has helped the Beavers remain as one of the country's top programs. The team is perennially in the top-25 and churns out multiple draftees to the major leagues each season.
Bailey works with the team's outfielders and is also a hitting instructor. This year he oversaw West Linn graduate Ryan Barnes' breakout season.
Barnes started the year as the team's lead-off hitter but was quickly moved back in the line-up because of his ability to drive in runs.
'He's a really hard worker. We got him to be a little more aggressive at the plate because he's got a terrific eye,' Bailey said.
Barnes came on strong late in the season, putting up big numbers to close out the regular season and at the regional tournament as well.
This year the Beavers' season fell short of the College World Series as Oregon State received a tough draw and had to travel to Baton Rouge, taking on top-seeded LSU twice in the process.
'Obviously the goal is to win the World Series every year so, from a baseball standpoint, we're not satisfied. We got a tough draw but it was really fun to play at LSU in front of 11,000 people. It was good for our young guys to have that kind of pressure,' Bailey said.
Bailey is excited about the future of the program. The team is young and the Beavers will now hold their breath to see how many of their players will opt to play professionally next season.
Bailey hopes that Barnes will return for his senior season and also believes another West Linn graduate, pitcher Riley Wilkerson could have a big impact next season.
'He's got a chance to be pretty special,' Bailey said.