Baker named TRM softball coach
Published 5:00 am Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Chris Baker has two decades of experience as a coach at the varsity level. That journey will continue after being named as the T.R. Miller head softball coach and offensive coordinator on the Tigers football staff.
“I’m really thrilled with the opportunity to be at such a good program with such a good reputation,” Baker said.
“When Coach (Andrew) Thomas got the job at Miller I was real happy for him. We go back a long way. When I found out there was an opening for a softball coach I decided I wanted to get back involved with softball.”
Baker began coaching at his alma mater Warren Central High School in 1996 where he served as assistant football coach, assistant girl’s basketball coach and assistant softball coach.
“That was my first exposure to softball at the time,” Baker said. “I really enjoyed and liked it more than I thought I would.”
In 2002 he moved to Florida to coach at Nature Coast Technical High School in the Tampa area.
Three years later he joined Newberry High School where he served as defensive coordinator in football, head boy’s basketball coach and assistant softball coach.
In 2014 his family decided to move closer to family members near the Florida Panhandle where he took a post at Tate High School in Pensacola serving as assistant football coach and boy’s head weightlifting coach.
Last year Baker served as assistant football coach and basketball coach at Escambia High School.
At TRM, Baker said he looks forward to taking the softball team to the next level, a team that finished 21-15 this past season.
“I talked to Coach (Terri Lynne) Peacock and she’s done an outstanding job with the softball program,” Baker said. “I just hope that I can keep building on the foundation she and Coach (Greg) White laid before her and keep this thing going in the right direction.
“I’m really going to take a lot of personal responsibility to get this bunch to the next level to make them the best team possible.”
Baker said he recently met with the softball team and was inspired by their motivation to get better.
“I asked the players ‘How many of you want to go back to Gulf Shores?’” Baker said. “They all raised their hands. Then I asked ‘How many of you want to go past Gulf Shores?’ They all raised their hands. I told them I believe that we can, because I think we have a chance to do special things this coming season. We’re going to work our tails off and see where we go.”
Baker said despite being at some larger schools it’s the smaller schools he finds the deepest connection.
“I really love the small communities and the passion that people have in them,” Baker said. “I also know that comes with a lot of responsibility. That gets me excited. I like places kids want to be pushed and want to be coached hard. A place where kids expect to have success every time they walk out on the field. That’s what gets my blood pumping. Even though I’ve been doing this for over 20 years it almost feels like I’m starting over again and that’s exciting.”
As well as serving as offensive coordinator for TRM football, Baker will also coach running backs.
Baker will teach social studies at TRM.