1987-1988-1989 Winner

Johnny Bailey
Sophomore; Junior; Senior; Running Back
Texas A&I (now Texas A&M-Kingsville)

1987 --After finishing as runner-up to Jeff Bentrim for the first Harlon Hill Trophy, Johnny Bailey was back in the Shoals in 1987 to claim the second Hill Trophy.  Bailey, a sophomore from Texas A&I (now Texas A&M-Kingsville), led Division II in rushing, all-purpose yards, and scoring in 1987.  He rushed for over 100 yards in seven games, and 99 yards in another.  He rushed for more yards in two years than any other Javelina back had ever gained in three seasons, and set or shared in over 90 NCAA Division II, Lone Star Conference, and school records in 1986 as a freshman.  He was named to Associated Press Little All-American first team, American Coaches Association Kodak All-America first team, and Football News All-America first team.  Bailey was also named the Outstanding Back in the Lone Star Conference as a freshman when he led the nation in rushing with 2,011 yards, and became only the third collegiate player to ever rush for over 2,000 yards in a season.  In his first 21 collegiate games, Bailey carried the ball 488 times for 3,609 yards, scored 236 points, had 4,442 all purpose yards, and averaged 172 rushing yards per game and 212 all purpose yards per game.  He also averaged 7.4 yards per carry.  Bailey winning the Hill Trophy was a rare exception, for an underclassman to win a major collegiate football award.

1988 --In just the third year of the Harlon Hill Trophy, the award had it's first repeat winner, when Johnny Bailey became the first player to win the trophy two years in a row.  He finished as the top rusher in Division II for the third straight year with an average of 144.2 yards per game and established a Division II career rushing mark with 5,051 yards.  He did this with a year of eligibility remaining, surpassing Chris Cobb of Eastern Illinois (1976-79).   He ranked eighth all-time in college football history for career rushing yards after three years, and became the state of Texas' all-time leading rusher, passing such notables as Eric Dickerson and Earl Campbell.  In 1988, he rushed for 1,442 yards and led the Lone Star Conference in rushing, all-purpose yards, and kick-off returns.  He also scored 15 touchdowns and had two two-point conversions for 94 points and an average of 9.4 yards per carry.  Bailey had two 200-plus yard games as a junior with a high of 236 yards.  He added ten pass catches for a total of 110 yards and 13 kickoff returns for an average of 23.8.  He led the Javelinas to a 10-3 record and to the NCAA playoff semi-finals.  After three seasons, Bailey held over 160 NCAA Division II, Lone Star Conference, and school records.  He led Division II in rushing as a freshman, sophomore, and junior, and led the nation in scoring as he did in 1987.  He was named to six All-America teams.

1989 --In 1989, Johnny Bailey won the Harlon Hill Trophy for the third consecutive year, in what was an unprecedented achievement for any major college football award.  Bailey became college football's all-time leading rusher in the sixth game of the season, passing Tony Dorsett, and finishing his career with 6,320 yards in regular season competition.  He also became college football's all-time leader in all-purpose yards with 7,803 yards, passing Colgate's Kenny Gamble.  Bailey rushed for more than 100 yards in seven of eight games he played in, and finished second in Division II in rushing.  He was also among the division leaders in scoring.  His second place finish in rushing kept him from becoming the first player in collegiate history to lead the nation in rushing four straight years.  He averaged 158.6 yards per game, gaining 1,269 yards on 168 carries for an average of 7.6 yards per carry.  He also caught eight passes for 130 yards, and had 187.5 all-purpose yards per game.  The Javelinas finished the regular season with a perfect 10-0 record, and were ranked No. 1 in the Division II poll.  Bailey gained 6,320 yards rushing, had 7,803 all-purpose yards, and scored 70 touchdowns during his career.  Besides being the all-time rushing and all-purpose yard champion in college football history, his 428 points ranked third best in collegiate history.  He won the American Football Coaches Association College Division Player of the Year Trophy in 1988 and 1989.  In 1989, he was also named to the Walter Camp All-America team.   This team included a backfield of Bailey, Anthony Thompson of Indiana, Emmitt Smith of Florida, and Andre Ware of Houston.  He led Texas A&I to a 36-7 record during his four years with the team.

Johnny Bailey Photo Gallery

Click Picture for Larger Image


Copyright 2002
All Rights Reserved
Harlon Hill Award Committee
Florence, AL
Email Us