MARS HILL, N.C. - The Mars Hill Alumni Spotlight features former student athletes, their accomplishments while at Mars Hill and now in their postgraduate careers. This month's alumni spot light features Brock Bailey Class of 1999 and member of the Men's Cross Country team.
Go the Distance Performance Coaching, LLC. is a faith-based training program which Brock Bailey had the vision to develop early on in his running career. At a young age, he was encouraged by his teachers and coaches to participate in after school programs which led him to compete as a four sport athlete at East Rutherford High School in western North Carolina. His senior year was when the victories began and he narrowed in his collegiate search on Mars Hill University.
As he was considering places to further his academic and athletic career, one thing was constantly calling: the mountains.
"Something about the mountains made me feel at home," Bailey said. "Paired with education program of Mars Hill and the opportunity to be a part of a new program made Mars Hill a no-brainer for me."
Current head coach Mike Owens recruited Brock to be a part of the program.
"Brock is literally the foundation on which our men's program was built on," Owens said. "From the moment his high school coach insisted I talk to him to Brock becoming the captain of our first SAC Championship team that started the streak of 18 straight, to being named both the SAC Runner of the Year."
A decorated career is an understatement for Bailey. However, when asked about his experience, it was the season he had the least success on paper that he spoke of the most. During his sophomore year, Bailey suffered an injury which ended up being one that was "eye-opening" to him. He was able to see how important every member of the community at Mars Hill was and what an impact each moment can have on an opportunity. This changed his mentality as an athlete and a leader and he never looked back.
"I was self-motivated and an intrinsically minded runner. I wanted to develop further into a better athlete."
Bailey was so self-motivated that even when he met his future wife, Courtney, in his senior year, he was self- disciplined enough to wait until the night his senior season ended for their first date.
Over the course of his career, Bailey achieved multiple school records. He was also named SAC Freshman of the Year in 1995, three-time SAC First Team All-Conference (1995, 1997, 1998), and was a member of the SAC Cross Country Team Conference Championship in 1997 and 1998. In 2007, he was inducted into the Mars Hill University Athletic Hall of Fame and in 2013, Bailey was inducted into the SAC Hall of Fame.
Upon graduation, Bailey continued to give back to the sport that shaped him. He began his coaching career at Coker College and then returned home to Mars Hill to coach for three seasons. He then pursued a career in teaching and coaching at the high school level, winning a state championship in 2012.
Bailey now is the founder of Go the Distance Performance Coaching and is making a positive impact on a diverse group of distance runners all working to reach their individual goals.
When Bailey was asked what is his "Why" his response was enthusiastic. "I still want to perform well in everything I do and have the mindset to do so. By serving my faith and encouraging others to return that faith and serve others."
He also encourages current student athletes to "live in the moment. Enjoy the opportunity and where you are. It is easy to think about the next race, or the next season."
Bailey currently resides in Greenville, SC. with his wife Courtney ('01) and their two children Daniel (8) and Rachel (2).
Owens added, "He has grown into being an amazing father, coach and friend. Brock balances his fierce work ethic and competitiveness with both compassion for others and Christian leadership."
Thank you for learning more about this month's alumni spotlight. Next month, we will be featuring baseball alumni, Nick Tracy.