After building a strong football tradition at Lamar, coach Scott Bailey now joins one of the strongest gridiron traditions in Missouri history.

Bailey has been hired as the head football coach of the Jefferson City Jays. He also will teach strength and conditioning at the school.

"We are excited to welcome Coach Bailey as the new Jays head football coach," Jefferson City activities director Chad Rizner said in a release. "His accomplishments at Lamar are impressive. Building a program that won seven consecutive state titles shows that he has the ability to attract and keep kids in the program and then coach them to perform at a very high level."

Bailey resigned as the Tigers' head coach on Dec. 2 after a 14-year career that saw Lamar compile a 151-41 record and win a state record seven consecutive state championships from 2011-17. Ten of those 41 losses came in a winless 2007 campaign, and the Tigers were 130-14 in the last decade.

The Tigers have won the district championship the past 12 years, and last year's quarterfinal loss to Ava was the first time since 2008 that Lamar did not reach the semifinal round of the playoffs.

Lamar, whose program was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 2018, won a nation-leading 57 consecutive games until late in the 2018 season when the Tigers lost at Cassville on a last-second field goal. The 57-game winning streak ranks second in state history behind Jefferson City, which won 71 in a row from 1959-65 — three years before postseason play began in Missouri.

Those Jays teams were coached by Pete Adkins, who was 348-48-2 from 1958-95. The Jays were the first team in Missouri to win 10 state titles — the 10th came in 1997 — and they have two state second-place teams among 23 semifinal appearances.

The Jays' football program joined the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 2019, but the Jays have fallen on tough times in recent years.

Jefferson City went 4-6 and 2-8 in the past two seasons under coach Terry Walker. The 2-8 season in 2019 saw the Jays lose their last seven games — the finale a 68-16 setback at Joplin to open Class 6 postseason play.

The Jays also were 3-7 in 2017, and their last winning season was 6-5 in 2016.

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