Johnny Bailey, who set records and compiled yardage in football that stand as the best ever for a collegiate athlete, played football for the Javelinas in 1986-89. His accomplishments are unexcelled in the history of college football. He was inducted into the Javelina Hall of Fame in 1996.
Bailey, from Houston Yates High School, rushed for 6,320 yards and became only the second back to rush for more than 6,000 yards in a career. The other was Tony Dorsett of the University of Pittsburgh, who had 6,082 in his four years. Bailey surpassed Dorsett’s mark at mid-season of his senior season.
Bailey had 7,803 all-purpose yards, also the best ever at the time. He finished third on the collegiate scoring chart with 428 points.
He had 580 additional rushing yards in the three post-season playoff games but these do not count in career records.
His best single-game figure was 254, those coming in his sophomore season.
Bailey opened his college career with four consecutive 200-plus yards games. No other athlete has had such a college debut. He rushed for 100 or more yards in his first 11 college games.
His best rushing season was his first when he picked up 2,011 yards, the best single-season performance for an LSC athlete. At the time, only two other college backs had ever rushed for more than 2,000 yards in a season.
Bailey ranks as the all-time leading rusher in the state and Lone Star Conference.
The Javelina ace led the LSC in rushing for four consecutive years and was the leading scorer in 1987 and 1989.
He made every All-America team for which he was eligible for four consecutive years. He appeared on 15 of the units.
He received the Harlon Hill Trophy for three consecutive years and was runner-up for the honor as a freshman. The trophy goes to the NCAA Division II Player of the Year.
Bailey was named Domino’s Pizza/American Football Coaches Association “Coaches’ Choice” Player of the Year for the first year of the award.
He was selected to the Football Writers of America All-America team and became the first college division athlete to earn a berth on the roster. He was selected to the ESPN All-America team and is the only college division player to make that squad.
The Javelina back was on the Associated Press’ Little All-America and Kodak All-America first teams in each of his four years of play, and became the first athlete to appear on the squads for four consecutive years.
Bailey was the LSC offensive player of the year for four seasons and was selected as USA Today’s Texas Amateur Achiever of the Year twice. He was selected the offensive player of the decade in the LSC.
Bailey was selected to appear in three post-season all-star games.
During his four-year career, the team compiled a 38-8 record, won three LSC championships and was ranked No. 1 in the NCAA Division II poll twice.
Bailey is the only Javelina player to have his number retired.
After finishing with the Javelinas, Bailey was drafted by the Chicago Bears, was an all-pro kick returner in 1992 for the Arizona Cardinals and finished his career with the Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams.
Bailey passed away after a battle with pancreatic cancer on Aug. 20, 2010 at the age of 43.