SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo University Director of Athletics Francis X. Reidy has announced the appointment of Tommy Baker as the new head coach for the Saint Leo women's golf program. Baker, a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, makes his way to Saint Leo after serving as the head men's and women's golf coach at Coker College in Hartsville, S.C.
"I am extremely honored and excited to be joining the Saint Leo family," said Baker. "I am very excited about the future of Saint Leo women's golf. The program has established itself as a regional power and I feel they are on the verge of bursting onto the national scene."
Under Baker's tutelage at Coker, the women's golf program was transformed into a regional competitor. During the 2012-13 season alone, the Cobras had three top-5 finishes and they completed eight of nine events in the top-15. In addition to the women's success, Baker guided his men's program to 12 total tournament victories. The men's team also captured the 2012 Conference Carolinas Championship.
"We are excited to add Tommy Baker to our staff and the leadership he brings to our women's program," said Athletic Director Francis X. Reidy. "His accomplishments at his previous positions on and off the golf course are a great fit for our athletic mission and university values."
In his five years with the Cobras, Baker helped to produce over 70 Conference Carolinas Presidential Honor Roll Recipients, 32 All-Tournament Team Selections, 17 All-Conference Team Selections, 11 team tournament victories, and 10 individual medalist honors. In addition, he led six Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) All-Region Selections, two GCAA All-Freshman Team selections, one Conference Carolinas Player of the Year, one Conference Carolinas Freshman of the Year, and one PING First Team All-America selection.
Along with numerous awards, Baker's teams spent 29 consecutive weeks ranked in the Golf World / Nike Coaches' Poll in 2012-13. He also led the Cobras to six NCAA Regional Appearances and one NCAA National Championship appearance. In 2012, his women's golf team also won the Conference Carolinas Team Sportsmanship Award. Adding to his resume, Baker was named the Conference Carolinas Coach of the year in 2009.
Prior to his success with the Cobras, Baker was an assistant men's and women's golf coach at his alma mater, UNC Pembroke, for two years.
As a member of the UNC Pembroke golf team from 2002-06, Baker was a four-time letterman as well as a four-time Peach Belt Conference Honor Roll Selection. He received a B.S. with honors in Exercise in Sport Science as well as his Masters in Sports Administration.
The Fayetteville, N.C. native will serve Saint Leo as the fourth head women's golf coach since the program's inception in 2002.