TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012
Nathan Baker Named Florida Tech’s Head Volleyball Coach
MELBOURNE, Fla. (Volleyball) – Florida Tech has selected Nathan Baker as its new head volleyball coach, athletic director Bill Jurgens announced Tuesday.
“We’re fortunate to have someone of Coach Baker’s head coaching background,” Jurgens said. “He has demonstrated success and helped build two Division II volleyball programs in Tusculum College and the University of West Alabama.”
Baker arrives in Melbourne with 10 years of experience as a head coach or an assistant at the college level. He has a history of strengthening programs by recruiting and developing skilled student-athletes, ranging from one All-American to two conference rookies of the year. Off the court, he takes pride in his student-athletes succeeding in the classroom.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to take over a program like Florida Tech,” Baker said. “It plays in one of the best conferences in Division II, the Sunshine State Conference, and has great academic standards, which were a big draw for me.
“I would like to thank Mr. Jurgens and the administrative staff for their professionalism during the search. They did a great job. I’m grateful for the opportunity and I’m excited about being a head coach at Florida Tech. I’m looking forward to the future here.”
Baker begins his tenure after serving as an assistant coach for three years at Division I Virginia Commonwealth University. Each season, the Rams advanced to the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament. In his first season in 2009, they won the conference’s regular-season title and later earned a spot in the tournament’s championship. Just last season, they ranked first in the conference with a .233 hitting percentage and 360 total blocks.
Prior to his position at VCU, he was the head coach at Division II institutions Tusculum College and the University of West Alabama. In his first season at Tusculum, his team posted a 14-win improvement at 23-10 overall. In the following year, they surpassed their previous win mark with a 25-10 record. His 2007 squad ranked third in Division II in blocks per game at 3.06 and 14th in hitting percentage at .257.
As the leader of West Alabama’s program, he led them to a berth in the Gulf South Conference (GSC) Tournament at a record of 22-11 in 2009. Five of his players were named All-GSC, one was selected freshman of the year and one was tabbed American Volleyball Coaches Association All-Region.
Baker was an assistant coach for three seasons at Division I Campbell University from 2003-06. In 2002, he landed his first head coaching position as the volleyball and softball coach at Colorado Northwestern College, a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association.
He received his bachelor’s degree in human services, while serving as a student volleyball assistant, from Martin Methodist College in 2002.
Baker is married to the former Jessica McDougal of Pulaski, Tenn. The couple has two daughters, Emma (6) and Morgan (4).