Volleyball great Bailey Webster reflects on Hall of Honor induction while pursuing masters degree at Texas

2013-11-23_Volleyball_vs_Kansas_State_Jonathan

Jonathan Garza

Senior outside hitter Bailey Webster helped lead a potent Longhorn attack in a sweep against Kansas State on Saturday. The Longhorns offense outhit the Wildcats .379-.180.

Jordan Mitchell, Sports Reporter

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in the October 29 flipbook.

On a cool Saturday morning, Bailey Webster stood in the limelight of the Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, not as a current McCombs Master of Business Administration student, but as a 2021 Texas Women’s Hall of Honor inductee.

In the midst of the halftime celebration of the Oct. 16 Texas-Oklahoma State game, a cheerleader managed to catch a special moment with the former NCAA volleyball First Team All-American.

“(The inductees and I) were walking to our seats with our families, and one of the Texas cheerleaders was like, ‘Hey, can I get a picture with you?’” Webster said. “Then she showed me a picture on her phone. She went to a Texas volleyball camp when she was in middle school, and she had taken a picture with me.”

Webster had an eventful 2012 year. That season, she led the Texas volleyball team to its third national championship. During the team’s historic season, Webster secured herself a NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player accolade and her second All-America First Team honor. 

Like many other student-athletes, Webster endured the weeks of traveling, practicing, studying and volunteering that year with elegance and finesse. While the fall semester proved to be strenuous on the 21-year-old, she remained engaged in her athletic and academic endeavours through the personal aspirations she made as a young girl.

“When I was still a kid, I knew what my goal was and what I wanted to get out of going to college,” Webster said. “(I wanted) a good education and to also win a championship. So when I touched the court, I was focused on doing that.”

To accomplish her ambitious athletic and academic goals, Webster looked for support both in her biological family in San Antonio and in her new extended family of coaches and athletic trainers in Austin. When life got tough — particularly with her season-ending ACL injury in 2010 — DeAnn Koehler, Texas’ senior associate athletic trainer, was the one who Webster relied on.

“She was definitely somebody that was there for me personally, as well as just making sure I was able to get back on the court,” Webster said.

In her academic career at Texas, Webster pursued a bachelor’s degree in corporate communication. After she graduated and retired from playing professional volleyball in 2014, she interned at various TV stations before coming back to Austin to work with the Longhorn Network.

“It was my way of still staying involved with volleyball after I decided to stop playing volleyball and start my career,” Webster said.

Following her work for the Longhorn Network, Webster pursued a profession as an investment adviser. While a shift from broadcasting to financial services seems drastic, Webster understood her communication skills would easily transfer to her new career. She could take research data and present it to clients in a meaningful way, similar to how she relayed information on volleyball broadcasts.

Pursuing her master’s degree as a supplement to her financial services career, Webster has stopped receiving as many calls from the University. As a result, she almost missed the notification of her induction to the Texas Women’s Hall of Honor.

“When (athletics director Chris Del Conte) called me, I surprisingly answered,” Webster said. “Usually if I don’t know the number, I look at it for a little bit, but because it was (a) 512 (area code) I figured I had a delivery coming or something. It was shocking but such a great call, I was really honored and couldn’t believe it.”

While Webster no longer experiences the name recognition she did as an student-athlete, her career at Texas will forever etch her name alongside other Texas volleyball greats with her inauguration to the Texas Women’s Hall of Honor. Two weeks after her induction, she is still trying to wrap her head around the significance of the accolade.

“I was chosen (alongside) 10 athletes, and you know how many amazing athletes there are at a program like Texas,” Webster said. “I genuinely feel honored, and I now appreciate all the hard work and the blood, sweat and tears that went into just trying to be the best player and student that I could be.”