Skip to main content
  1. Sports
  2. College Sports

Rice football coach eager to add ‘duckmaster’ to his resume

See also

Winning his second Conference USA Coach of the Year award Wednesday was an honor for Rice coach David Bailiff, but he’s looking forward to a different leadership role when the Owls hit Memphis later this month for the Liberty Bowl.

During a lighthearted moment at Thursday’s Liberty Bowl news conference, Bailiff recounted his first experience with the famous ducks at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis. The duck march to the Peabody fountains have been a tradition since the 1940s.

Bailiff was an assistant coach for TCU in 2002. The Horned Frogs faced Colorado State that season in the Liberty Bowl. Liberty Bowl Executive Director Steve Ehrhart took Bailiff to the Peabody for the march.

“I got to watch the ducks come out of the elevator,” Bailiff said. “I didn’t have my camera ready. I didn’t realize they were Olympic ducks that were that fast.”

Bailiff then recounted what Ehrhart told him at the time.

“He looked at me that day – and because he never thought I would do it – he said ‘if you are ever a head coach and come to the Liberty Bowl, I’m going to make you a duckmaster,’” Bailiff said as he laughed. “We’ve done it Steve. I’m looking forward to being a duckmaster.”

For the record, the duckmaster position is held by Anthony Petrina. He feeds, trains and cares for the duck, and may not need the assistance of a college football coach.

Even if Bailiff doesn’t get to play duckmaster for a day, he can fall back on his Coach of the Year award voted on by fellow Conference USA coaches. Bailiff guided the Owls to a 10-3 record and its first outright conference title since 1957. Rice’s is going to consecutive bowl games for the second time in school history.

Rice plays Mississippi State in the Liberty Bowl. Kickoff is 3 p.m. CST Dec. 31.

To get the latest Rice Owls news updates, please subscribe and follow @RiceExaminer on Twitter.



  • Legendary swimmer Michael Phelps is coming out of retirement, will he compete in Rio?
    Recreational Sports
  • Check out the NHL Ice Girls that are heating up rinks all across the country
    20 Photos
  • 49ers LB Aldon Smith arrested at LAX Airport for false bomb threat
    NFL News
  • Eagles running back LeSean McCoy slams Tim Tebow on Twitter
    NFL News
  • Never watched rugby before? Here's 20 reasons you should start
    20 Photos
  • Wiz kid: Washington Wizards sign 10-year-old with cancer to contract
    NBA News

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about and apply today!