Tommy Baker was announced as the new head coach for the Saint Leo women’s golf program in August of 2013. Baker, a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, made his way to Saint Leo after serving as the head men’s and women’s golf coach at Coker College in Hartsville, S.C.
In his first season with the Green and Gold, Baker led the Lions to instant success. The program saw two regular-season tournament first place team finishes, finishing all eleven tournaments in the top 10. This success also carried over to crucial end of the year tournaments where the Lions finished fifth at the Sunshine State Conference Tournament, earning a selection to the NCAA South Region Tournament, where they finished sixth. At the SSC Championship, golfer Marie Coors finished in first place for the Lions, marking the first time a Saint Leo women’s golfer has won the tournament. The guidance of Baker assisted in the placement of Marie Coors at the NCAA DII National Championship where she finished tied for eighth. In total, the Lions earned sixteen top-10 individual tournament finishes, and numerous accolades were awarded throughout the season, including one Women’s Golf Coaches Association All-South Region Selection, one WGCA second-team All-American selection, one All-SSC second team selection, and one SSC Women’s Golfer of the Week award.
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.
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 serves Saint Leo as the fourth head women’s golf coach since the program’s inception in 2002.