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Rice Gives Bailiff New Five-Year Contract

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Rice announced a new five-year contract for David Bailiff on Friday. The Owls won 10 games, including the Conference USA championship, in 2013. Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images.
Rice announced a new five-year contract for David Bailiff on Friday. The Owls won 10 games, including the Conference USA championship, in 2013. Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images.

After Rice won its first outright conference championship in 56 years, the school rewarded coach David Bailiff with a new five-year contract, it announced Friday.

"David Bailiff is exactly the right leader for our football program," Rice director of athletics Joe Karlgaard said in a statement.

Bailiff, whose only previous coaching experience came at Texas State, skittered to losing seasons in four of his first five years, following a 10-3 season in '08 with a 2-10 '09.

This season, Rice went 10-4, winning the Conference USA title game, 41-24, against Marshall before falling to Mississippi State, 44-7, in the Liberty Bowl. Before Bailiff arrived, the team hadn't won a bowl game since 1954 and hadn't won 10 games in a season since 1949. Financial terms of Bailiff's new contract weren't reported, and Rice is a private school.

Bailiff, named C-USA coach of the year for the second time, is the longest-tenured coach in the conference, entering his eighth season.

"We need to work on consistency to where every year we are going to bowl games and competing for conference championships, and at the same time have the highest graduation rates in the country," Bailiff said, according to the Houston Chronicle. "It's been a wonderful eight years and I'm looking forward to five more."

Bailiff signed a new three-year contract after the 2012 season, but Karlgaard took over as director of athletics in October and wanted to put his own influence on the football program.

"I wanted an agreement with our football coach that reflected my belief in him and that kind of turned the page on a former era," he said.