Edwin on Bended Knee
May 23, 2014
By Bill Boehlke
Edwin Bailey was back in the athletic spotlight, and he was about to share the stage for another special occasion.
Bailey proposed marriage to his girlfriend, Toni, on May 12, while on the stage at the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame Ceremony in Columbia. The S.C. native was one of eight new members inducted into the Hall. As an All-American offensive lineman at South Carolina St., Bailey helped the Bulldogs win three Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference titles.
In 1981 he was drafted in the fifth round by the Seahawks. Bailey played 11 seasons in Seattle, starting in 121 of 139 games at left guard, and he finished his career ranked first all-time in games played for the Seahawks. Nicknamed “Pearl” by his teammates, he was also a member of the 1988 Seahawks’ team which won the AFC West title.
“While I was in the NFL, we made sure that everybody knew that we were from South Carolina, that we played football in the state of South Carolina, and our football was outstanding,” Bailey said.
After Bailey retired from football, he spent several years as an assistant coach. This included a stint at South Carolina State with his college coach and the banquet’s master of ceremonies, Willie Jeffries, as an offensive and defensive line coach.
To add to his post-collegiate accomplishments and illustrious NFL career, this earned him entitlement into enshrinement in the S.C. Athletic Hall of Fame, an accolade Bailey accepted with great pride and humility.
“I’m representing South Carolina State and the state of South Carolina both,” Bailey said. “We’ve had some great football played in this state and I am proud to be associated with them.”
Bailey is currently the assistant head coach and offensive line coach at Paine College in Augusta, GA.