HARTSVILLE, S.C. – Coker College head golf coach Tommy Baker announced his resignation today after five years at the college.
Baker, who coached both the men's and women's teams, resigned to become the head women's golf coach at Saint Leo University in St. Leo, Fla.
"I have enjoyed my time at Coker College and feel extremely grateful for the knowledge and friendships that I have gained over the past five years," Baker said. "I am forever grateful for the opportunity the college provided me as a 24-year-old aspiring head coach. I want to personally thank Dr. Wyatt and Dr. Griffin for allowing and trusting me to be an influential part of the daily lives of our student-athletes. I wish the college, athletics department and golf programs continued success."
Coker was the first head coaching position for Baker. He was the head men's golf coach since 2008 and began the woman's golf program, which had its first season during the 2010-11 academic year.
"I would like to thank Tommy for his service to Coker College over the past five years," said Lynn Griffin, vice president of athletics and facilities. "We wish him the best as he moves on in his career."
Under Baker's leadership, the men's team has won 12 total tournaments. He led the Cobras to the Conference Carolinas championship and an 18th place finish at the NCAA South/Southeast Regional tournament in 2012.
This past season the men finished in the top 10 in seven of nine tournaments, with five top-five finishes. The Cobras were ranked in the Golfstat and Golf World/Nike polls for Division II for over 30 weeks each this season, both school records. They finished at No. 23 in the Golf World/Nike Golf Division II Coaches' Poll.
In 2009, Baker was named the Conference Carolinas men's golf coach of the year. During his tenure, on the men's side, he's coached 13 all-conference players, a conference player of the year, a conference freshman of the year, an all-region player and one All-American. Jake Murphy, a 2013 graduate, reached the 2011 NCAA Division II Men's Golf National Championship and finished third overall under Baker's tutelage.
The women's team began competition during the 2010-11 academic season and has made significant strides every season. In 2012-13 the Cobras had their most success, notching four top-10 finishes, three of which were top-five finishes. They had their first all-conference selection and three players named to the Women's Golf Coaches Association All-American Scholars team as well.
Prior to joining Coker, Baker was a graduate assistant at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
A native of Fayetteville, N.C., Baker received his bachelor's degree in exercise in sports science and his master's degree in sports administration from UNC Pembroke. He played golf for the Braves and was a four-time Peach Belt Conference honor roll selection.
A national search for a head men's and women's golf coach will begin immediately. Interested applicants can click here to submit a resume.
Coker College readies undergraduates for personal and professional success through a distinctive four-year program that emphasizes a practical application of the liberal arts as well as hands-on and discussion-based learning within and beyond the classroom. Coker is ranked among the "Best Colleges" in the South by U.S. News & World Report as well as The Princeton Review. Located in Hartsville, S.C., Coker is within two hours of the cultural, financial and recreational resources of Charlotte, Columbia, Charleston and Myrtle Beach.