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Jeff Bailey ended his coaching career as the head football coach of Rye High School on the road in Buena Vista the last Friday of October. His final Thunderbolt football team ended the season with a 4-5 record, with three of the losses coming to teams ranked in the “Top 10.” On the final play as a coach Bailey had 11 players on the field and four healthy bodies on the sideline in the narrow 20-14 loss.
For Bailey, in his 25 years as coach, he left the field as a winner 166 times and as a loser 91 times. (6.64 wins per year and 3.64 losses). In 1993 he walked off the field as the State Champion. During another season he left the field as the second best team in the state. The Thunderbolts, under Bailey, qualified for the playoffs in 18 of his 25 years. They made it to the semi-finals four times and won five league championships. Twice Bailey was selected to coach in the All-State game.
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