MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Former St. Louis Rams and West Virginia receiver Stedman Bailey, his NFL career halted by a drive-by shooting last November, will join his alma mater as a student assistant coach this upcoming season.
Mountaineers head coach Dana Holgorsen, whose Air Raid offense helped Bailey become a Biletnikoff finalist in 2012, announced the staff addition Sunday.
“I know Stedman is very disappointed that he isn’t able to play football at this time. However, I am glad that he is going to turn an unfortunate situation into a positive one by coming back to WVU as a student assistant coach and more importantly finishing his degree,” Holgorsen said.
“He was an important part of our football program as a player, and I look forward to him being with us once again. Like we say here: Once a Mountaineer, always a Mountaineer.”
Bailey plans to re-enroll at WVU to complete his bachelor’s degree in multidisciplinary studies, the school announced.
A third-round pick in the 2013 draft, Bailey appeared in 38 games for the Rams during the past three seasons, making 59 catches and two touchdowns.
“First of all, I would like to thank the Los Angeles Rams organization, my teammates, coach Jeff Fisher, general manager Les Snead and the ownership for the way they have taken care of me and my family since they drafted me. They’re a first-class organization and made me feel like part of the family, especially during the past few months, which have been a tough time,” Bailey said.
“Moving forward, I would like to thank West Virginia University, especially coach Dana Holgorsen and athletic director Shane Lyons for making this opportunity available. Even though my playing career isn’t over yet, this gives me more time to heal so I can make a return. However, It is important to me to finish my degree. I loved my time as a Mountaineer football player and I look forward to working with coach Holgorsen and the Mountaineer football program.”
Bailey, his cousin and two children reportedly were sitting in an SUV in Miami Gardens when shots peppered the vehicle on Nov. 24.
Fisher said Bailey’s recovery and “presence during our offseason program meant a great deal to his teammates, and his mentorship was invaluable to our young rookies.”