SAAC Spotlight: MSUB's Jackson Bailey

Friday, November 17, 2023

Part of a regular series:

Throughout the year, uses this space to profile conference student-athletes who are members of their respective institution's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). In addition to providing feedback on the student-athlete experience, conference and institutional SAAC members also offer input on the rules, regulations and policies that affect student-athlete’s lives on NCAA member campuses.

Name: Jackson Bailey
Sport: Track/Cross Country
Institution: Montana State University Billings
Year: Senior
Major: Business Admin Accounting
Hometown: Missoula, Montana

What has been your favorite class and/or professor and why: My favorite class has been Forensic Accounting because it isn't all about numbers. I get to learn about why people choose to commit fraud. It's a different and interesting way of thinking because no one commits fraud in the same way.

Why did you choose to attend Montana State University Billings: I chose to attend Montana State University Billings because of the College of Business and its great reputation. I also had the opportunity to continue my track and cross-country career and compete in a competitive conference. I enjoy the small class size and relationships I have built there.

Years involved in SAAC: 1

What has been the most rewarding about being a part of SAAC: The ability to have a voice in decisions at MSUB. At first, it seemed a little dull, but it has helped me connect with other student-athletes in different sports.

What is the most important thing you've learned from balancing the demands of athletics and academics: Time management without a doubt. I had to learn how to use my time wisely and still have time to do what I want to off the track and when I'm not studying.

Most memorable sports-related moment: The first time I competed at the GNAC conference championship. I was the youngest on the team, even though I was a sophomore. I managed to PR by a big amount in the 8k that day.

My favorite things about being part of the GNAC and NCAA DII are: I enjoy the fact I can be a student and athlete at the same time. D1 is more athlete-student. The GNAC is great because even though it is a small conference, we have highly competitive teams.

The best advice I’d give to an incoming freshman: Soak it all in. It will be over in a flash.

What is the biggest obstacle you have overcome during your collegiate career: COVID. In my senior year of high school, spring sports were canceled and throughout the entire year, we were unsure if we were going to compete. It was a tough time since I was going into my freshman year as a college athlete and did not know where my place was yet. I was nervous every day and got a little homesick.

Current mentor(s): My mentors are Jan Schweitzer, Jo Ruby, Diane Cummins, and Jill Galle. Jan and Jill were two partners at the accounting firm where I was an intern. I worked with them the most during my time there and learned so much from each of them. Jo and Diane were the high school coaches that I have a close bond with to this day and learn something new every time I talk with them. Other than my parents, they have helped develop me into who I am today.

What hobbies/passions do you have outside of your sport: I am a big film buff, so watching a lot of movies is something I do often. I also enjoy watching TV shows and other sports like football and basketball. I also enjoy listening to music, specifically country and classic rock. Since I've lived in Montana my whole life, I enjoy hiking, fly fishing, longboarding, and being on a boat.

One thing that people don't know about me is: I can do some impressions of celebrities. People say they are pretty good.

Future goals after graduation: I want to become a CPA. Potentially I’d love to become a forensic accountant for the FBI after gaining a few years in the industry or staying with the same firm I've been interning for.

A podcast or book that I recommend to other student-athletes is: I would recommend Never Give Up by Tedy Bruschi. He was a linebacker for the Patriots who suffered a stroke but overcame that adversity to continue his career and become a great football player.