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Zach Bailey Jr. named new athletic director at Maui Prep

By BY WALTER CHIHARA - | May 28, 2021

New Athletic Director Zach Bailey Jr. will oversee 18 sports programs at Maui Preparatory Academy.

NAPILI — The quality educational experience at Maui Preparatory Academy continues to thrive as the independent learning center at the foothills above Napili expands its administrative staff to better serve its enrollment.

Head of School Dr. Miguel Solis recently announced the realignment that will concentrate Keenan Reader’s focus to the college counselor position he has held along with Maui Prep’s athletic director duties.

He passes the A.D. responsibilities over to Zach Bailey Jr., who arrived on campus as a physical education teacher as well as basketball and track and field coach.

“Being part of a small private school, many of us ‘old-timers’ at Maui Prep have worn many different hats and served in numerous roles all at one time. Now that enrollment has grown and our facilities expanded, it became important to expand roles within Maui Prep’s three pillars of a college preparatory education — academics, athletics and performing arts,” Reader explained last week.

“College counseling is a vital part of our program. I was open to serving the Maui Prep community in either fashion but was asked to remain in the role of college counselor. I have a passion for helping kids set goals for their future and guiding them through the college process. It is rewarding work, and I’m excited to be able to focus more on this role.”

New Athletic Director Bailey arrived here in 2019 and has had an immediate positive impact at Maui Prep as a P.E. teacher, basketball and track and field coach, and now as overseer of the 18 sports programs at the school.

He inherits the position with credentials as a basketball coach and teacher after a sterling high school and college playing career. He was an all-state selection his senior high school season and then graduated from Division I Tennessee Tech University after being voted the team’s outstanding defensive player for four consecutive seasons.

Based on the congenial relationship of Reader and Bailey, the transition should be smooth for these dedicated educators.

“We’ve seen amazing growth in our athletic program under my tenure, and frankly, was not fully done. There’s more work that I wanted to see through, and I will look forward to doing it by supporting Coach Bailey in that role.”

“I couldn’t be more excited — if there is someone to pass it on to, I’m ecstatic that it’s Coach Bailey,” Reader continued. “He comes into our community with a great energy. We share a vision for Maui Prep athletics, so I know he’s going to be able to pick up right where I left off and continue to grow our programs to a competitive level while we keep academics and our college prep mission at the forefront. I will be going back in to doing a little bit of coaching as well. That’s always been a passion of mine, so I will still be around.”

For Coach Bailey, the task will be a daunting one, but that is what he has faced for almost his entire life, so he feels confident in the new position.

“I know it will be challenging at first, but he’s been very instrumental and very kind in helping me,” Bailey said of his relationship with Reader.

“He’s given me tips already — you know, things I need to take care of right away, and I will definitely go to him and just ask him if he has a suggestion here or ‘what do I do here?’ I know I can go to him.”

“He demands only greatness, and for that, I’m happy to pass it on because I know he’s going to share my vision of taking it to the next level and continuing our growth in the Maui Interscholastic League,” Reader concluded.