One thing I have learned is that good friends have other good friends. This is a series of stories about “friends of my friends”. The post below is the story for October 30, 2015.
My goal in 2015 is to learn or get re-acquainted with 365 people and doing a daily post on the “the friend of a friend” is helping me get closer to my goal.
I received a phone call this week from a former UNC Pembroke athlete asking for some advice on a career opportunity. It got me reflecting on the number of student athletes I got to interact with during my career as a college coach and athletic director. I also thought of some of those athletes families. One of my former players Curtis Moss just lost his dad this week.
I also reflected on athletes that came to play at UNC Pembroke that had a mom or dad that worked here. One in particular that I thought about was Tommy Baker. Tommy was a college golfer at UNC Pembroke and his dad did a lot of senior administrative work for the university.
Tommy was a member of the UNC Pembroke golf team from 2002-06, he was a four-time letterman as well as a four-time Peach Belt Conference Honor Roll Selection. In 2006 he received a B.S. with honors in Exercise in Sport Science. After he graduated he went on to work as an Assistant Golf Coach while he earned his Masters in Sports Administration.
In 2008 Tommy left UNC Pembroke and became the Head Men’s and Women’s Golf Coach at Coker College. Under his leadership at Coker, the women’s golf program was transformed into a regional NCAA Division II leader. During the 2012-13 season alone, the Cobras had three top-5 finishes and they completed eight of nine events in the top-15. In addition to the women’s success, Tommy led the men’s program to 12 total tournament victories. The men’s team also captured the 2012 Conference Carolinas Championship.
In 2013 he moved on to St.Leo’s College in Florida to coach the women’s golf team.
St. Leo’s is also a NCAA Division II member and plays in the talent laden Sunshine State Conference. In his first season at St. Leo’s the team experienced instant success. The program saw two regular-season tournament first place team finishes, finishing all eleven tournaments in the top 10. This success also carried over to crucial end of the year tournaments where the St. Leo Lions finished fifth at the Sunshine State Conference Tournament, earning a selection to the NCAA South Region Tournament, where they finished sixth.
In his second season during the fall season Tommy’s team has been a top three team in their last four events.
Tommy also has done some remarkable things since leaving UNC Pembroke. He has gotten married to his wife Jessica and become a dad.
That makes his dad Dr. Warren Baker a proud dad and grandfather
The Friend-TOMMY BAKER
The Friend of the Friend-WARREN BAKER
The man who has had many roles
Today Warren Baker is retired after a long and dsitinguished career at UNC Pembroke. He has done that before and UNC Pembroke found a way to get him back. Today his main focus in on being retired and enjoying the role of grandfather.
Warren Baker has done a lot at UNC Pembroke. When I arrived on campus in 1977 as assistant basketball coach he was working in the Admissions Office. Over time Warren would assume a number of roles for the university. Warren not only has a long work association with UNCP he is also a 1975 graduate.
Warren has been the director of Admissions, director of Institutional Research and Planning, a faculty member, director of University-School Partnerships, interim Dean of education, and permanent dean of the school of education. Amongst all those careers at UNC Pembroke he also found time to work in the public schools. He thought he was retired in 2011 living the good life of a golfer and fisherman.
Photo of Warren fishing in 2011
Late in 2013 UNC Pembroke needed to fill the role of Director of Institutional Effectiveness and brought Warren out of retirement. He stayed in that position until this summer. He is back to being retired and enjoys his time keeping up with his son’s golf team, grandson, and checking on friends. He has been one of the unsung heroes at our university. I am glad that he is enjoying his time away from work.