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(1931 - 1985) had an enjoyable time as a young Track athlete, competing at the CYO, High School, and Collegiate level. After serving in the U.S. Army in the Korean War, he wanted to give back to the sport by becoming an active official. His coach at Seton Hall, John Gibson, quickly steered him into doing meets for the Catholic leagues in New Jersey and New York, the Metropolitan AAU, and Collegiate Conference meets. He quickly became a skilled clerk and then a great starter.
Under the meticulous tutelage/mentoring of the well-reputed starter John Tomasko, Bailey gradually became a starter at major meets including the IC4A’s, Heptagonal Games, Penn Relays, Millrose and NYAC Games, the Eastern States High School Championships, and the National AAU Indoor Championships that were held annually in Madison Square Garden. He prepped for the job at a relatively young age. That was fortunate, because Tomasko died suddenly and Frank was ready to the task of taking over for him as the chief at these events. At that point, he committed himself to mentoring a new generation of starters that could succeed him when he decided to step down. He did just that, training noted East coast starters such as Bill Von Fabrice, Randy Krakower, Tom Meagher, and Tom McTaggart.
When the AAU surrendered the control of Track and Field and The Athletics Congress USA became the national governing body, the Metropolitan AAU Association became the Metropolitan Athletics Congress. The M.A.C. started a very ambitious program under the leadership of Tracy Sundlun, and he asked Frank Bailey to take charge of developing a vital corps of officials to work at the 25+ annual events that were scheduled in the early and mid 1980’s. Bailey became the first certification chair of the new TAC (later USATF) association and developed and began to train that cohort of officials. He was a present at every meet he could attend, either officiating or coordinating, even if it was for the first hour in order to get things moving. When he did leave early, it was usually because he was off to work a collegiate or CYO event that he had previously committed to.
Bailey was honored by his selection by the National Officials’ Association of TAC to be a starter at the XXIII Olympic Games in Los Angeles in 1984. It was a great indication of the trust both athletes and administrators had in his abilities to officiate at the highest level.
The very next year, in May, 1985, Bailey was out at Penn State University at the IC4A championships starting the 110 meter Hurdles when he was struck down by a fatal heart attack at the relatively young age of 54. It was a big shock to the New York metropolitan Track community. But Frank Bailey left his legacy by training a competent and enthusiastic cadre of officials who continued what he began, evolving into one of the most respected groups in the nation.