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Brandon Bailey announced as new Georgia Southern defensive coordinator

New hire led a Buffalo defense that had 28 takeaways in 2022

Georgia Southern alum Brandon Bailey has been named the new defensive coordinator and linebackers coach for the Eagle football program, as announced Wednesday by head coach Clay Helton. Bailey comes to Statesboro after a successful debut season as a defensive coordinator and safeties coach for the University of Buffalo.

"I would like to thank Coach Helton, Jared Benko, Chris Davis and everyone involved in making this opportunity happen," said Bailey. "Georgia Southern and Statesboro have been special places to my wife C.C. and me. We are so excited to be back and get to work!"

Bailey, the youngest defensive coordinator in the FBS in 2022, led a UB defense that ranked fourth in the MAC in scoring. Buffalo forced 28 turnovers on the season, over twice as many as the previous year, and the Bulls finished second in the FBS with 15 fumbles recovered and tied for the league lead in interceptions with 13. The 28 takeaways were the seventh-most in the country. Safety Marcus Fuqua tied for the national lead in interceptions with seven en route to being named to the Associated Press All-America Third Team, becoming just the third UB player to be named an AP All-American in the Bulls' FBS era. Three members of Buffalo's defense were named All-MAC, including linebacker Shaun Dolac who was a first-team selection after totaling 147 tackles, third in program history for a single season. He led the nation with a school-record 97 solo stops. Bailey helped lead the Bulls to a victory over Georgia Southern in the Camellia Bowl for UB's third bowl win in program history.

"We are very excited to welcome Brandon Bailey and his family back to Statesboro," said Helton. "Coach Bailey has learned under some of the best coaches in the country and used that knowledge to drastically improve Buffalo's defense last season. Brandon is known as one of the top young coordinators in college football, and his defense was one of the nation's leaders in takeaways last year. I am certain our defense will rise to new heights under his leadership."

Before arriving at UB, Bailey spent three seasons as a defensive assistant at Texas A&M, working with defensive coordinator Mike Elko who was later hired as Duke's head coach. Bailey was part of a staff whose defense was one of the best in the SEC and nationally. In his last two seasons at Texas A&M, the Aggies ranked third in the SEC in total defense. In 2021, Texas A&M ranked 14th in the nation in total defense.

"Brandon has an excellent football mind," said Elko. "He is a rising star in this profession and will build a great culture of defense at Georgia Southern."

In 2020, the Aggies went 9-1 and defeated North Carolina in the Capital One Orange Bowl. Texas A&M finished ranked fourth in the nation that season. In 2021, Texas A&M went 8-4 and was selected to play in the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl. However, due to COVID protocol, they could not participate in the game. The Aggies went 8-5 in 2019 and defeated Oklahoma State in the Texas Bowl.

Before Texas A&M, Bailey served as defensive backs coach at Arkansas-Monticello in 2018. He was the defensive play caller for the season's final seven games. The Boll Weevils went 5-2 over that seven-game stretch. In 2017, he served as co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Richmond Hill High School in Georgia. Bailey spent one season as a defensive graduate assistant at Tulane in 2016.

Bailey graduated Cum Laude from Georgia Southern University in May 2016, receiving his bachelor's degree in health and physical education. While attending school, he worked with the Eagle football program as a student assistant.

He is married to the former C.C. Rohrer of Statesboro, Georgia. They have a daughter, Brighton Carolyn.

The hiring is pending a successful background check.