Thursday, December 9, 2010
Dailey gets 900th win
By BARRY BURLESON
Craig Dailey achieved a milestone Thursday night most coaches will never reach. And he did it at the young age of 40.
The head basketball coach at Marshall Academy earned his 899th and 900th career wins when both his Lady Patriots and Patriots defeated Magnolia Heights.
“I have been extremely fortunate to have been at two great basketball schools during my 18 years of coaching (12 at Delta and six at MA),” he said. “Coaches in our league are seldom able to ‘stick’ somewhere that long.
“Both schools have had great leadership from the headmaster and board, tremendous kids and, of course, special players, plus a love for basketball from the community.
“It all goes together and a coach can’t be successful without it.”
His Marshall teams have won eight district championships. The boys have claimed three North State crowns. In 2008-09 the Lady Patriots finished second to Leake Academy in the State Tournament.
Before coming to MA, Dailey won nine state championships (six girls and three boys) at Delta Academy in Marks. Twice his teams there won boys and girls state titles in the same season. While at Delta, his squads were also runners-up three times in the Overall Tournament, won 15 district crowns and 12 North State championships.
He said he hopes his “We Believe” program, a central theme which is a tribute to his mom who died his senior year of high school, will bring a return to the state championship podium soon. He also said he longs for that elusive Overall title.
“But at the end of the day, number of wins or even titles are not what my program is about,” Dailey said. “It is about learning to believe in yourself, to overcome obstacles placed in front of you and to be willing to ‘sell out’ to the greater good of the team.’”
Dailey is a native of Burnsville. He played basketball at Northeast Mississippi Community College for legendary coach Harvey Childers. He is a graduate of the University of North Alabama.
His wife Bridgett is a second-grade teacher at Marshall Academy and they have one son, Dakota, an eighth grader at MA. Dakota Dailey wears number 12 on the junior high team in honor of Graham Carson, a dedicated member of Coach Dailey’s “We Believe” program at Delta who died in a car accident in 2005 at the age of 18.
“For me personally (as far as achieving 900 wins), I know Momma is smiling and none of this would be possible without Mrs. Bridgett and number 12 by my side,” Coach Dailey said.
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