EL PASO, TEXAS (Press Release)- UTEP Director of Athletics Bob Stull announced on Monday that Kevin Baker has been appointed as the eighth head coach in UTEP women's basketball history.
"We are very pleased to introduce Kevin Baker as our head women's basketball coach," Stull said. "We had tremendous interest nationally for this position, and it was really difficult going through the process of narrowing it down to the type of person that we wanted to lead this program. In the end, no one could match the level of success that he has achieved, winning over 300 games and setting school records for victories at every stage of his coaching career. He is a personable and energetic young man and a great fit for UTEP and the El Paso community."
"I'd like to thank Dr. Diana Natalicio and Bob Stull for giving me the opportunity to lead the UTEP women's basketball program," Baker said. "I am truly honored to take the reins of a program that has enjoyed so much success. Coach Adams had an amazing run here for 16 years. She really put UTEP women's basketball on the map, and my goal is to build on what she has already accomplished."
Baker comes to El Paso from Angelo State University, where he posted a combined record of 50-14 in two seasons (2015-17). Baker was also the head coach at the University of Texas Tyler from 2012-15, fashioning a 72-16 mark. His combined college coaching record is 122-30.
Overall Baker is 344-131 in a coaching career that has also taken him to four high schools in the state of Texas -- Commerce (1997-98), Palestine (1998-2000), Nacogdoches (2000-03) and Copperas Cove (2004-07). He has set school records for wins at every stop of his career, and has taken every school to the playoffs with a total of five district championships. He is an eight-time Coach of the Year.
More recently, Baker's teams captured back-to-back conference championships at UT-Tyler and Angelo State. He led Angelo State to a 26-6 mark in 2016-17, including the school's first-ever NCAA Sweet 16 appearance and a runner-up finish in the NCAA South Central Regional.
Baker has led both a Division II (Angelo State) and Division III (UT-Tyler) school to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
His 2016-17 Angelo State squad was ranked as high as second in the nation, earning him Conference Coach of the Year honors for the fourth consecutive season. The Rambelles were 24-8 in 2015-16, reaching the NCAA Regional semifinals.
He compiled marks of 18-9 (2012-13), 27-4 (2013-14) and 27-3 (2014-15) in three seasons at UT-Tyler. The Patriots won the American Southwest Conference title in 2014 and 2015, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 in 2014. He was ASC Coach of the Year all three seasons.
Baker spent the previous five years (2007-12) as an assistant coach at Division II West Texas A&M University, where he was part of a run to 120 victories including a 30-4 campaign in 2009-10. The Lady Buffs were a top-10 team nationally all five seasons, were ranked fourth in 2007-08, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament on four occasions. West Texas A&M won back-to-back-to-back Lone Star Conference titles (2008-10) and made an Elite Eight appearance in 2009. West Texas A&M also posted the no. 5 team GPA in the country in 2007-08.
In 10 seasons as a high school head coach, Baker put together three seasons with 29 or more wins. He was a combined 222-101 in the prep ranks. Highlights included a 29-4 mark at Palestine High School (4A) in 1999-2000, a school-record for victories, and District, Bi-District and Area championships. His 2002-03 Nacogdoches team was 30-4, a school-record for wins, with District and Bi-District titles. His final high school team, at Copperas Cove (2006-07), was 32-3 with Area and Bi-District championships and a Regional Semifinal berth.
Baker received his Bachelor of Science degree (Kinesiology) and Masters of Education from Stephen F. Austin in 1994 and 1996, respectively. He began his coaching career as an assistant girls basketball coach at Hudson High School in his hometown of Lufkin, Texas in 1994.
The Kevin Baker Career Head Coaching Record
1997-98 Commerce HS 18-10
1998-99 Palestine HS 18-13
1999-00 Palestine HS 29-4
2000-01 Nacogdoches HS 5-22
2001-02 Nacogdoches HS 19-13
2002-03 Nacogdoches HS 30-4
2003-04 Copperas Cove HS 24-10
2004-05 Copperas Cove HS 24-10
2005-06 Copperas Cove HS 23-12
2006-07 Copperas Cove HS 32-3
2012-13 UT-Tyler 18-9
2013-14 UT-Tyler 27-4
2014-15 UT-Tyler 27-3
2015-16 Angelo State 24-8
2016-17 Angelo State 26-6