Erika Bailor Making Impact on young, female basketball players


Megan Giles

Slam dunkin. Bailor prepares herself for next basketball season. Her stats were: 9-8 for her first year and 3-10 for her second year of coaching.

From my experience there are good coaches and bad coaches, the differences are that good coaches teach and bad coaches tell. Erika Bailor was a fantastic coach who understood the struggle of being an athlete and made playing basketball fun. 


Bailor and assistant coach, Keith McFarland, both understood the stress of keeping academics up and being an athlete.  


“Getting the experience of working with Coach Bailor was great because we both have similar teaching philosophies. Being that we are both teachers, we view coaching as another form of teaching essentially, and we approach the role from an effort of trying to connect with our students or in this case players first,” said Keith McFarland.


If any player on Bailors team needed help with their school work, she would help us without even considering. 


“Making that connection looks different in different methods, but we both made it a priority to connect with our players to show them we were fully invested in their progress before we began getting into the fundamentals of teaching the game of basketball at this level,” said McFarland. 


Bailor has always had a passion for basketball, and her family made it fun for her. 


“Basketball was 110% my passion. Between my sister and I both playing, we’d eat, play basketball, sleep and repeat. I love the game and love the “family” you build when you’re on a team. My passion for the game definitely led me to coaching because I want to instill the same love & passion I have for the game in my players,” says Bailor. 


Bailor was an extraordinary coach.  She wanted to teach kids and make sure they were taking what she taught them and executing it. 


Bailor said, “Something I want my players to take with them is that they are in control of being the best player they can be. If they constantly have the mindset of “hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard, then they’ll push themselves to reach their fullest potential.”


Bailor would always put her players before herself. If her athletes didn’t feel confident in themselves, she would encourage them and teach her players to encourage their teammates. 


“Sometimes athletes doubt themselves in their journey because another athlete may be better than them, but I just want them to know that if they push themselves and learn from their mistakes and fix them, they’ll soon become an even better athlete,” says Bailor. 


The girls on Bailor’s team trusted her and believed she was doing the best for them while coaching. 


Sienna Smith said, “The thing that made Bailor a good coach was the way she had faith in us to succeed even if we weren’t doing the best, and she was also friendly to all of the girls.” 


“Bailor always was polite and made sure to work on every individual player when she saw they needed it, and I learned how to be a better teammate and to have confidence in myself,” said Alyson VanOrmer.