March 18, 2014
Baker Steps Down As Men's Basketball Coach
SALISBURY, NC -- Catawba College has announced the resignation of men's basketball coach Jim Baker. Baker steps down after guiding his alma mater for 20 seasons. His 344 wins stand as the second most in school history.
Baker returned to Catawba as an assistant coach for the 1993-94 season and helped the Indians send then head coach Sam Moir out with a winning campaign. Taking over as head coach for the 1994-95 year, Baker built Catawba into a conference and regional power.
By his second season, Baker led Catawba to a conference championship, its first since 1982-83. The Indians won the conference again in 1997-98 and qualified for its first NCAA II Regional. The 2000s will go down as one of the best decades of basketball in school history as the teams won four conference titles, four league tournament championships and qualified for regionals seven times.
Baker was named the South Atlantic Conference Coach of the Year five times. In 1998, he was honored as the NCAA II Region Coach of the Year. Baker's teams won 20 or more games nine times.
Catawba had struggled the past four seasons under Baker, winning just 38 games over that span. This season, Catawba won just seven games and did not qualify for the league tournament.
Catawba President Brien Lewis and Interim Athletic Director Jeff Childress both expressed appreciation for Baker and his record of achievement. “Coach Baker has much to be proud of during his time here and we wish him nothing but the best,” Lewis said. “He will always be a member of the Catawba family.” Childress noted that Baker is “a class act and he has represented the College well. We hope his future endeavors will be successful and rewarding.”
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