The Ole Miss Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame honored Judge Robert W. Bailey of Meridian, Mississippi, with its Distinguished American Award and Andrew J. Kilpatrick, Jr., of Grenada, Mississippi, with the Contribution to Amateur Football Award on Saturday, Nov. 18 when the Rebels hosted Texas A&M.
The Distinguished American Award is presented by the Ole Miss Chapter to individuals who have set the standards for excellence in a life of service to the community, while the Contribution to Amateur Football Award is given in honor of those who have made numerous contributions to the college athletics world through service to their fellow man.
"We are pleased to honor Judge Robert Bailey and Andy Kilpatrick for their contributions to Ole Miss athletics," said Richard Noble of Indianola, Mississippi, president of the Ole Miss Chapter. "They are most deserving of this recognition, and having an on-campus salute provides an excellent opportunity to express our sincere appreciation for all they have done for Ole Miss."
After serving 27 ½ distinguished years as Circuit Judge for the 10th Judicial District -- serving Kemper, Lauderdale, Clarke and Wayne Counties -- Judge Bailey retired from the Bench on June 30, 2015. During his career as Circuit Judge, he served as a member of the Advisory Committee on Rules of the Mississippi Supreme Court (1990-2001) and as chairman of the Conference of Mississippi Circuit Court Judges. Judge Bailey also practiced law in Meridian, Mississippi, for 17 years.
Judge Bailey received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from the University of Mississippi in 1969 and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1971. Tapped for membership into Omicron Delta Kappa, he was elected Colonel Rebel in 1968 and also served as president of the M-Club.
As an undergraduate student at Ole Miss, Judge Bailey also made an impact on the football field, earning three letters playing defense for legendary coach Johnny Vaught, while helping lead the Rebels to three post-season bowl games (Bluebonnet, Sun and Liberty). He was recognized for his play against Alabama in 1968, a 10-8 victory over the Crimson Tide, when he was chosen Southeastern Conference Player of the Week and then was named Outstanding Defensive Back in the 1968 Liberty Bowl win over Virginia Tech.
Following his senior season, Bailey and Hank Shows were selected as permanent Co-Captains of the 1968 Ole Miss team.
Judge Bailey continues to give of his time for community and civic service. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Ole Miss Alumni Association and a term on the Ole Miss Athletics Committee. An active member of the University of Mississippi Alumni Association and M-Club Alumni Chapter, he is a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal in Meridian and has served on the Vestry Committee. He has been a reading volunteer at Poplar Springs Elementary School and also has served as chairman of the Lauderdale County Cancer Society fund raiser.
Judge Bailey is married to the former Melissa McWilliams. They are the parents of a son, Bo Bailey (Kacey) of Meridian and a daughter, Courtney Bailey Smith (Joel) of Gulfport, and also have five grandchildren: Bailey, Kate and Joel Smith and Elizabeth and Grace Bailey.
Originally from Neshoba County, Mississippi, Kilpatrick transferred to Ole Miss in the spring of 1971 after playing football at East Mississippi Community College. At Ole Miss, he became a student athletics trainer under the direction of legendary Rebel athletics trainer Wesley I. (Doc) Knight, who assigned Kilpatrick to work with the sports of football, basketball and baseball. His service led to him becoming a letterman and member of the student M-Club.
Kilpatrick earned his BSPE degree from the University of Mississippi in 1974 and his Juris Doctor degree, cum laude, from the Mississippi College School of Law in 1979. He is a partner in the firm of Gore, Kilpatrick & Dambrino, PLLC of Grenada, Mississippi, where he limits his practice to commercial construction contract litigation in multiple states as well professional responsibility/legal malpractice.
He served as a volunteer assistant football coach to his late father, A.J. Kilpatrick, at East Central Community College and also was a volunteer assistant coach to former Ole Miss assistant football coach Jack Carlisle, both at Madison Ridgeland Academy and Jackson St. Joseph High School.
Following his graduation from Ole Miss, Kilpatrick has continued to provide valuable leadership and service to the M-Club Alumni Chapter, including being its president from 2004-2006. His selflessness service has helped benefit The M-Club and Ole Miss in many areas, including the Wobble Davidson Scholarship, Grove Bowl and the M-Club’s $2 million support to the Ole Miss Athletics Foundation.
In 2015, Kilpatrick received the George W. Lotterhos Distinguished Service Award to honor his outstanding dedication and service to the M-Club and the University of Mississippi.
In addition to his service with the M-Club, Kilpatrick is currently serving on the Executive Committee for the Ole Miss Alumni Association and on the Athletics Committee for the second time, having also served on the Athletics Committee from 2006-2008. Since July of 1987, he has served as outside counsel for the Mississippi State Board of Architecture and has also served as General Counsel for The Mississippi Bar.
Kilpatrick is married to the former Debra Ann Martin, whom he met while at Ole Miss. Debbie received her BSE degree from the University of Mississippi in 1975.