Brian Baker Bio - GWUSports.com—Official Web Site of Gardner-Webb Athletics
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Brian Baker
Position: Head Coach
Hometown: Batesville, Ark.
Alma Mater: Arkansas
Graduating Year: 1994
Phone: 704-406-3893
Email: bbaker@gardner-webb.edu
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Baker Photos
Brian Baker Bio
Courtesy: Gardner-Webb
Release: 10/27/2006

2006 A-Sun Men's Coach of the Year Brian Baker is in his sixth full season as the Director of Track & Field and Cross Country at Gardner-Webb University and is in his sixth season with the Gardner-Webb University Track and Field programs.

 

One of the most qualified young coaches in collegiate Track & Field, Baker’s group of talented athletes posted 17 school records during the 2007-08 season. Individually, nine conference titles were won during the year. Four of the student-athletes - Caryn Daane, Jerel Langley, Carrie Long and Elizabeth Maxwell had performances that were good enough to allow them to compete at the NCAA East Region.

 

During the 2006-07 campaign, his team recorded 25 school-record marks. Four student-athletes - Jake Didion, Elliott Haynie, Langley and Maxwell - garnered a spot at the NCAA East Region Championships with Didion and Langley earning top-10 finishes.

 

The Bulldogs had multiple individual champions at the conference meet during the indoor and outdoor campaigns. Cody MacArthur and Maxwell were each named the Most Outstanding Field Events Performer under Baker’s guidance.

 

Baker led a banner year for the Bulldogs in 2005-2006. GWU finished third at the 2006 A-Sun Indoor Track & Field Championships on the men's and women's side, setting the bar high for the outdoor championships in Clermont, Fla.

 

Baker's men blitzed the field en route to the school's first-ever Atlantic Sun Conference team title, running away from the field as MacArthur was named Most Outstanding Field Events Performer and Dobson Collins earned Most Valuable Freshman honors.

 

The GWU women also finished strong outdoors as the program tied its highest finish ever by taking second.

 

In the 2005-06 academic year, both the men and women proved to be strong competition throughout the season, with four men and two women garnering A-Sun Athlete of the Week honors.

 

With the track & field programs each looking strong, and both cross country programs showing steady improvement, Baker has his operation headed in the right direction on all fronts.

 

Prior to his current role, Baker served the Bulldogs as head cross country coach and assistant track coach, but accepted his new role following the conclusion of the 2003 outdoor season.

 

An expert in the distance events, Baker provides Gardner-Webb Track & Field with a high level of national experience and knowledge – as well as respect – from his many years of involvement at collegiate track’s highest level of competition.

 

During his time in Boiling Springs, the GWU distance corps has improved by leaps and bounds – with each member of the team posting new personal records on a regular basis.

 

A product of the nation’s most storied Division I track program at the University of Arkansas, Baker is no stranger to success on the track or the cross country course.

 

Baker, who ran professionally with New Balance until recently, is also quite experienced on the international level as well.

 

A 1994 graduate of Arkansas with a degree in kinesiology, Baker was a key cog in the Razorbacks’ domination of NCAA Division I cross country and track in the early 90’s. He ran on Arkansas teams that won national titles in 1990 (Indoor and Cross Country), 1991 (Indoor), 1992 (Cross Country), 1993 (Indoor, Outdoor, and Cross Country), 1994 (Indoor and Outdoor). Twice (1992-93 and 1993-94) the Razorbacks won the NCAA Division I triple crown, with national championships in cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track. In addition to team success, Baker won individual national titles in the Indoor Distance Medley Relay and the Outdoor 5,000-meter run as a senior (1994).

 

Baker was a two-time individual conference cross country champion and 5,000-meter run champion as well, winning one title each in the SWC and the SEC. Arkansas captured 12 total conference championships as a team during Baker’s career, including three SWC titles and nine SEC titles.

 

He was an alternate for the 1996 Olympic Team in the 5,000-meter run and finished ninth in the 3,000-meter run at the 1999 World Indoor Track & Field Championships held in Japan. In 1995, he placed 10th in the 5,000-meter run at the World University Games. Baker is also a former member of the U.S. World Cross Country Team (1996 and 1997) and finished third, receiving a bronze medal at the Pan American Games. In 2001, Baker competed in the Chiba Ekiden relays in Japan.

 

The Batesville (Ark.) High graduate was a three-time prep state champion in cross country and two-time outdoor state champion in the 1,600m run and 3,200m run

 

In June of 2004, Baker was inducted into the Arkansas Track and Field Hall of Fame.

 

Baker and his wife Laura reside in Kings Mountain, N.C., and are the proud parents of Quinn Addison Baker (5) and Ian York Baker (2), who was born in August 2006. Laura Baker was inducted into the Cornell University Hall of Fame recently as well.


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