Kevin Baker has been named the head women's basketball coach at The University of Texas at Tyler, Dr. Howard Patterson, vice president for auxiliary services and intercollegiate athletics, announced Monday (May 14).
Baker, a native of Lufkin, comes to UT Tyler after serving for five years as the top assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Division II Lone Star Conference power West Texas A&M.
"We are extremely excited about the future of UT Tyler women's basketball under Coach Baker," Patterson said. "Out of a very deep pool of qualified applicants, we felt Kevin had the ideal combination of a winning track-record, basketball knowledge and experience, and recruiting ability, all with an emphasis on the academic success of his players, to bring UT Tyler women's basketball to national prominence."
In his five seasons in Canyon, Baker helped lead the Lady Buffs to a 120-36 record and three LSC championships. The team has been ranked in the top ten nationally for the past five seasons, and has made four trips to the NCAA tournament, including a run to the Elite Eight in 2008-09.
"I am honored and thrilled to be named the new head coach at UT Tyler. I want to thank Dr. Patterson, Dr. Mabry and everyone at UT Tyler for the opportunity to lead this program," Baker said. "I am excited to take on the challenge of returning the Patriots to a championship level."
As the recruiting coordinator for the Lady Buffs, Baker signed nine All-Lone Star Conference players and one All-American, including four all-state players in 2011.
Prior to his stint at West Texas A&M, Baker was one of the top high school girls coaches in Texas, posting a career record of 222-101. He is well-known in East Texas, having served as the Girls Athletic Coordinator and head coach at Palestine from 1998-2000, and the head coach at Nacogdoches from 2000-2003. He also served as head coach at Copperas Cove and Commerce as well as the assistant at Hudson and Princeton.
Baker continued, "I am proud of what we accomplished at West Texas A&M University, and I look forward to reaching even greater heights in Tyler. I am very excited about the quality athletic staff that I will be working with and I am proud to be a part of the UT Tyler family."
Baker earned two degrees from Stephen F. Austin State, receiving his bachelor's degree in Kinesiology in 1994 before continuing to earn his master's in 1996.
He becomes the third coach for the UT Tyler women's basketball program, taking over for Stasha Richards who resigned in April.