It’s been a busy day for Georgia Southern athletics who have potentially filled a pair of high-profile positions.
The Eagles have acted quickly in regards to filling the vacancy left from not renewing the contract of men’s basketball coach Brian Burg. Tuesday afternoon Georgia Southern hired University of Alabama assistant coach Charlie Henry as their new head coach.
"I want to thank Dr. Kyle Marrero and the search committee of Jared Benko, Chris Davis, Reggie Simpkins and Leonard Bevill for entrusting me with the opportunity to lead the Georgia Southern basketball program," Henry said. "Georgia Southern is a special institution with a beautiful campus, a passionate fan base, and is supported by the tight-knit Statesboro community. We will give maximum effort to ensure success in the extremely-competitive Sun Belt Conference, and our program will be a source of pride for the University and the region, both on and off the court.”
Henry has been the defensive mind behind the Crimson Tide’s success recently. Henry began his coaching career with current Alabama head coach Nate Oats as an assistant at Romulus High School in Michigan.
Henry went on to work as a head coach in the NBA’s G-League with the Windy City Bulls and served as an assistant coach under Fred Hoiberg at both Iowa State and with the Chicago Bulls.
Henry was reunited with Oats at Alabama in 2019 and has helped the Crimson Tide to unprecedented success. Henry runs the Crimson Tide's defense, which ranks No. 1 nationally in effective field goal percentage.
"Charlie has been more than ready to become a head coach, and I think Georgia Southern made a terrific choice in hiring him to lead their men's basketball program,” said Oats. “I've known Charlie for almost 15 years, and he has one of the sharpest basketball minds out there. He is also a tremendous leader who knows how to develop players. I've personally grown a lot as a coach working with him. He's helped build our program at Alabama into what it is today and oversees our defense, which has finished in the nation's top three most efficient defenses in two of the last three years. I do not doubt that he'll do an outstanding job. On top of all that, he is a great family man that will represent Georgia Southern University and the community well.”
The Crimson Tide is currently the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and are set to take on No. 16 seed winner of the play-in game between Texas A&M Corpus Christi and SEMO Thursday afternoon.
"I can't tell you how excited we are to welcome Charlie, his wife Teisha, son Nash, and daughter Dixie Grace to the Georgia Southern Family," said Director of Athletics Jared Benko. "From the outset, we were committed to finding the best coach and developer of young men to lead Georgia Southern to new heights. Charlie's name was frequently mentioned nationwide as one of college basketball's most elite minds and coaches. He has been instrumental in Alabama's success over the past four years, culminating with a No. 1 seed in this year's NCAA Tournament. His two years as an assistant coach in the NBA with the Chicago Bulls and his two years as the head coach of the NBA G League Windy City Bulls uniquely prepared Charlie for this role. Please welcome Charlie and his family to Eagle Nation!"
On the football front the Eagles are expected to hire Brandon Bailey as their new defensive coordinator. Bailey served as defensive coordinator for the University of Buffalo, who beat the Eagles 23-21 in the Camellia Bowl Dec. 27 in Montgomery AL.
Bailey was the youngest defensive coordinator in the FBS a season ago, his first with the Bulls. He led a UB defense that ranked fourth in the MAC in scoring. The Bulls tied for the league lead in interceptions with 13. Buffalo forced 25 turnovers on the season, over twice as many as the previous year.
Prior to arriving at Buffalo, 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 and Linguist were on the same staff at Texas A&M in 2019.
Bailey was part of a staff whose defense was not only one of the best in the SEC but also nationally. Each of 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.
Bailey graduated from Georgia Southern in 2016 and served as a grad assistant under former Eagle coach Willie Fritz at Tulane in 2017.
Bailey is married to the former C.C. Rohrer who is from Statesboro and also a Georgia Southern graduate.