Oct. 3, 2002
Tallahassee, FL –
While FSU soccer head coach Patrick Baker has accomplished some amazing feats in his short career as a coach, it is hard to imagine anyone being elected into a hall of fame just months after their 35th birthday but that is the case for Baker. The Seminoles’ all-time winningest coach will travel to UNC Wesleyan after Florida State’s Friday night game with UCF to be inducted into the university’s hall of fame.
“First of all I am honored and excited,” said Baker. “I kid around that it must have been a slow year for candidates if they are inducting me because there have been so many wonderful student-athletes that have graduated from that university. I was very flattered when I got the phone call and it is a great honor.”
Baker’s first head coaching job was at UNC Wesleyan where he was hired straight out of Otterbein University. Between 1989 and 1994, all Baker did was lead the Bishops to three straight appearances in the NCAA Division III Tournament. He compiled a record of 45-21-4 and was named the Dixie Conference’s Coach of the Year in 1991 and 1992. He was also named the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Division III South Region Coach of the Year in 1991. He led the Bishops to a Dixie Conference Co-Championship in 1992 and his teams finished in the top ten three times. On top of all his success on the field, Baker also served a dual role as head coach and as the school’s SID.
“My time at Wesleyan represented some of the best years of coaching for me,” said Baker. “Mike Fox, the Athletic Director and baseball coach at the time (now the baseball coach at North Carolina), hired me right out of college. I was coaching three players who were older than me and he (Fox) swore me to secrecy saying I couldn’t reveal my age until I was 25.
“You wear so many hats at the Division III level. If you are ever afforded the opportunity to move on, you truly appreciate what you have. At Wesleyan I was the head coach, I did all of our laundry, I did all the ordering, there was no assistant coach, I was the sports information director for our nine sports and was the assistant grounds keeper for the soccer facility. You just helped out anyway you could. No matter what the sport or time of the year. I think it makes you a better coach and develops a work ethic in you. If you don’t have that work ethic, you definitely have it when you leave.”
After turning around the UNC-Wesleyan program, Baker worked the same magic at Penn before coming to FSU. In his four-year tenure at Florida State, the Seminoles have gone to back-to-back NCAA Tournaments, have finished the last two seasons ranked in the Top 20 and have played for an ACC Championship. In just three full seasons, Baker’s teams have established almost 150 program firsts and individual and team records.
To access complete bio information on Baker or any of the Seminole soccer coaches or players, log onto the official athletic website for Florida State University at www.seminoles.com.