Mission Prep has its newest athletic director, and though she has a resume chock full of experience, she is proud to say the Royals found her at a South County Starbucks.
Bailey Brown, 54, who spent time as a coach and athletic director at Westridge School for Girls and later concurrently coached softball at Division III Occidental College, was introduced Friday as Mission Prep’s fourth athletic director since 2006.
Brown got her start at the school this season after offering to coach for previous athletic director and Royals girls basketball coach John Krossa when he stopped in as a customer at the Arroyo Grande coffee shop where Brown worked as a manager.
The networking was a success. Brown coached junior varsity girls basketball for the first time with Mission Prep this past season, and she said it reinvigorated her passion for athletics.
“I had so much joy in my heart when I started coaching again that this is where I needed to stay,” said Brown, who said she has also worked in business, groundskeeping and television. Brown said her vision is to elevate every sports program at Mission Prep, help athletics become the face of the school in the community and get her teams into a league.
The Royals, who failed to gain entry to the Los Padres League last year, compete as an independent in the CIF-Southern Section. The lack of a league affiliation has at times been perceived as a hindrance in the pursuit of playoff berths.
“Obviously, we want to get into a league,” Brown said, “and the LPL, that was a big miss for us. We were really hoping to get in. I just think being in a league is important for stability.”
Recently selected by Mission Prep from a pool of more than 100 applicants, Brown became a multisport coach and athletic director at Westridge in 1993 and remained until 2002. She picked up softball coaching duties at Occidental while still at Westridge and coached there for seven seasons.
A graduate of Cal Poly who threw the discus for the Mustangs in the early 1980s after competing in volleyball, softball and track at Cuesta College, Brown said she got her start teaching and coaching basketball at Flintridge Prep in 1988.
She moved to Missoula, Mont., in 2002, where she worked for a minor league baseball team and has been back on the Central Coast for the past six years.