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It's not all on the football field

By BY LYDIA GRIMES Features Reporter
Most area residents know Alan Baker as one of the coaches at T.R. Miller High School, but do they know he is also a pretty good musician? Well, he is. He plays the drums well enough to be part of a professional band that performs around the area. Music has always been a part of his life and the desire to play is still as keen as it ever was. He has a room at his home that is devoted to a large set of drums which he can play very well.
He was the third of four children in the family. He was born in Brewton and has lived most of his life here in the area. He got interested in music at a young age and although he attended the Methodist Church, he played drums at First Baptist Church of Brewton from the time he was in the seventh grade until he graduated from high school in 1974. He is now a member at First Baptist and once again he plays the drums for church services and special events.
He attended T.R. Miller High School and participated in all kinds of sports, especially football. He and Jamie Riggs both were running backs on the football team and he played some in basketball. Riggs is now the Head Football Coach/Athletic Director at T.R. Miller and they are once again working together, this time coaching youngsters that could possibly follow in their footsteps.
Baker was a good enough player in high school to be given a football scholarship to East Central Junior College in Decatur, Miss. While there he became part of a musical group that played 50s music called "Bob and the Bee-bops." They performed in various events locally.
After two years at East Central Junior College, Baker transferred to Auburn University in 1978 to complete his education. He obtained his bachelor of science degree in the school of education. He majored in history and minored in political science. He uses the degree to teach American History at T.R. Miller in addition to his coaching.
After graduation from Auburn, Baker taught a short while in Phenix City and again at Earnest Ward before coming to T.R. Miller in 1984. Since that time he has served under three coaches at Miller, Mike Sasser, Joel Williams and Jamie Riggs.
He has worked with most sports at the schools, such as football, baseball, track and basketball. These days his duties are mostly focused on football and track. Football season is over now but track is just around the corner.
While teaching and coaching at Earnest Ward, Baker married his high school sweetheart, Kaki Stokes, who was also raised and went to school in Brewton. Kaki is also a school teacher. She has taught at North Brewton and Pollard/McCall. At the present time, she is teaching at Pollard/McCall Junior High School.
After college Baker picked up his music again with a group called "Mixed Company" and is now part of Pat Poole's group, "The Owassa Band." He continues to be part of many church programs including the First Baptist Church Choir.
Contrary to what some people think, a school teacher's job does not end when school is out in May. They are still required to work a little longer in the spring and they start before the kids come back in the fall.
Coaching is the same except it is even more time-consuming. Coaches work almost all year. When one sport is wrapping up, they are getting started on another. Some sports overlap each other making for some very busy times.
The coaches have regular meetings until the middle of June and then get about six weeks before beginning fall practice in August.
Baker is very content with his situation right now and is making some definite plans for after he retires from the coaching profession. He has some political aspirations for the future.
That time is in the future for Baker. Now he is getting ready for track to get started when the Christmas vacation is over.