Jan. 7, 2003
Tallahassee, FL –
Seminole head soccer coach Patrick Baker must be doing something right because for the seventh time in his career he has been invited to help coach the US National Team. Baker, who has worked with the U-21’s, U-19’s and U-16’s, will assist head coach David Smith with the newly formed U-17 National Team. The camp will be held at the Arco Training Center in Chula Vista, CA from February 1-9.
“Smitty (David Smith) has invited me to be his assistant coach at his first U-17 camp and I am honored and very excited,” said Baker. “Anytime you can represent your country as a coach, I would think it gives you the same feeling you get as a player when you are asked to attend a national camp.
“I am excited because, as was the case when Tracey Leone started the U-19’s, I was fortunate enough to be with her at that first camp. To be afforded that same opportunity with the U-17’s is remarkable. I think it is going to be a great week of training and games for the coaching staff and the players.”
On top of working with the best players in the US in their age group, the national camp provides Baker with valuable lessons. The Seminole head coach just completed the 15th season of his coaching career, which began with a head coaching stint at North Carolina Wesleyan. He has never been an assistant at the collegiate level so his time in a new role is well spent.
“Having never been an assistant coach, my experiences at these national camps make me a better head coach by gaining experience as an assistant. I view my assistant coach’s roles very differently each time I return. I try to make their situation better having walked in their shoes even if it is just for a week. You take some of those elements that are amplified at the national team level and bring it back with you.”
Baker is coming off his third straight NCAA Tournament appearance and second trip to the Sweet 16 in the last three years. His Seminoles once again completed a season with a Top 15 ranking and for the first time in FSU history, the Seminoles finished ranked ahead of every ACC team with the exception of North Carolina.