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story.lead_photo.caption Jefferson City's Baylen Farmer (77) and Fred Wilson (58), along with coach Scott Bailey, get ready to take the field prior to a game this season against Sedalia Smith-Cotton at Adkins Stadium. Photo by Jason Strickland / News Tribune.
Jason Strickland
Photo by News Tribune/News Tribune.

Often times when something needs to be repaired on a car or around the house, a little bit of duct tape or WD-40 might do the trick.

But we all know eventually that annoying squeaking noise the WD-40 stopped will come back and whatever the tape is holding together will fall apart.

Trying to fix it quickly means it will either be broken again quickly or it won't be fixed at all.

This has been the case for the Jefferson City football program the past three years.

The Jays finished the 2017 season with a record of 3-7, their first losing mark since 2005. Enter a new coach.

The next season began with a shutout loss and ended with a shutout loss, but the Jays did win four games and one of their six losses came in overtime.

The wins were cut in half in 2019, close defeats were nowhere to be be found and former Jaybird Terry Walker resigned after just two seasons.

Jefferson City was left in a bind having to hire a coach just a couple months before the 2020 season was to kick off.

Scott Bailey, a 2018 inductee of the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame after seven straight state championship-winning seasons at Lamar, was in the door at Jefferson City within the next week.

"There was no time to really interview anybody else or even to look at applicants or any of that," Jefferson City district activities director Ehren Earleywine said.

The tape didn't hold.

The job appeared exhausting for Bailey. A longtime high school football coach who eats, sleeps and breathes football wasn't enjoying football.

Bailey had a list of several concerns and Earleywine said he and the administration were open to solving any problems that needed to be fixed.

But this season, which ended with a 3-7 record, took a toll on Bailey and he made the decision to rip away the tape and resign.

It's time to gather the correct materials and tools and take the time to do the job the right way, and that appears to the approach that is being taken this time around.

Earleywine said he isn't going to "pull the trigger until I know we have the right guy."

Do a deep dive into the applicants, contact anyone else who might be interested in the job and take the time to hammer out any questions or concerns they have so this situation doesn't happen again in 12 months.

At least time is on their side this year, but a job that's been a revolving door makes it more difficult each time to attract who you're looking for.

"It adds another layer of difficulty to bring in a great candidate," Earleywine said. "But having said that, I'm really confident that we're going to be able to attract a really good candidate. We want to make sure it's somebody that's committed to the long haul because this is going to take time. It's not a one-year fix. It has to be somebody that's willing to come in and grow this organically from the inside-out."

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