Saint Leo announces hiring of former Coker coach Baker as new head coach
SAINT LEO, Fla. -- Saint Leo director of athletics Francis X. Reidy has announced the appointment of Tommy Baker as the new head coach for the women's golf program. Baker, a graduate of North Carolina-Pembroke, makes his way to Saint Leo after serving as the head men's and women's golf coach at Coker College.
"I am extremely honored and excited to be joining the Saint Leo family," Baker said. "I am very excited about the future of Saint Leo women's golf. The program has established itself as a regional power and I feel they are on the verge of bursting onto the national scene."
Under Baker's tutelage at Coker, the women's golf program was transformed into a regional competitor. During the 2012-13 season, the Cobras had three top-five finishes and they completed eight of nine events in the top 15. In addition to the women's success, Baker guided his men's program to 12 total tournament victories. The men's team also captured the 2012 Conference Carolinas championship.
"We are excited to add Tommy Baker to our staff and the leadership he brings to our women's program," Reidy said. "His accomplishments at his previous positions on and off the golf course are a great fit for our athletic mission and university values."
In his five years with the Cobras, Baker helped to produce more than 70 Conference Carolinas Presidential Honor Roll Recipients, 32 all-tournament team selections, 17 all-conference team selections, 11 team tournament victories and 10 individual medalist honors. In addition, he led six Golf Coaches Association of America All-Region Selections, two GCAA All-Freshman Team selections, one Conference Carolinas Player of the Year, one Conference Carolinas Freshman of the Year, and one PING First Team All-America selection.
Along with numerous awards, Baker's teams spent 29 consecutive weeks ranked in the Golf World/Nike Coaches' Poll in 2012-13. He also led the Cobras to six NCAA regional appearances and one NCAA national championship appearance. In 2012, his women's golf team also won the Conference Carolinas Team Sportsmanship Award. Adding to his resume, Baker was named the Conference Carolinas Coach of the year in 2009.
Prior to his success with the Cobras, Baker was an assistant men's and women's golf coach at his alma mater, UNC-Pembroke, for two years.
As a member of the UNC-Pembroke golf team from 2002-06, Baker was a four-time letterman as well as a four-time Peach Belt Conference Honor Roll selection.
Baker will be the fourth head women's golf coach at Saint Leo since the program's inception in 2002.