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Dec. 20, 2010
MARYVILLE, Mo. - Northwest Missouri State University on Monday announced Wren Baker will become the University's next director of athletics.
Baker has served since 2006 as director of athletics at Rogers State University in Claremore, Okla., where he was the first athletics director in the school's history. Previously, he was director of athletics and principal at Valliant (Okla.) Public Schools, assistant director of operations for men's basketball at Oklahoma State University and assistant men's basketball coach at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.
A news conference is scheduled at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 5, in the J.W. Jones Student Union Boardroom, to formally introduce Baker as Northwest's director of athletics.
"Northwest is pleased to have Wren and his wife, Heather, join the Bearcat team," Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski said. "Wren is committed to creating an environment focused on the principles of the DII student-athlete experience and build upon Northwest's athletic successes both in the competitive arena and in the classroom. He and his teams have track records of success, and he brings a model based on student success and academic integrity, high expectations and strategic intent to Northwest."
As director of athletics at Northwest, Baker will be responsible for leading Northwest's athletics program and providing an overall vision for the program. Baker will oversee the University's athletics budget and facilities. He also will work collaboratively with the Department of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (HPERD) as well as the University's club sports and intramural and recreation program.
Baker starts his new role in mid-February.
On assuming the position, Baker said, "Heather and I appreciate the opportunity to join the Bearcat family and the confidence the search committee, Dr. Jasinski and the Northwest Leadership Team and the Board of Regents have shown in us. Northwest is a very special place, and we are eager to help build on its rich athletic tradition."
At Rogers State, Baker started the school's athletics program from scratch and led the men's basketball team to a 20-11 record in its inaugural season. In 2008, he stepped away from coaching basketball to focus on growing Rogers State athletics, which now fields 10 teams. Baker initiated fundraising campaigns and oversaw multimillion dollar improvements to four different athletics facilities. Additionally, Baker hired seven head coaches to start new sports programs at Rogers State, which has won roughly 70 percent of its athletics contests.
From 2005 to 2006, Baker was director of athletics and principal of Valliant Public Schools where he set records for gift-giving to the athletics department. From 2001 to 2005, while a member of head coach Eddie Sutton's men's basketball staff at Oklahoma State University, Baker worked with associate athletic directors to establish and implement new NCAA and conference rules.
Baker holds a bachelor's in health and physical education from Southeastern Oklahoma State University and a master's in education leadership studies from Oklahoma State University.
A proud member of the NCAA Division II and founding member of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association, Northwest Missouri State University offers 16 men's and women's intercollegiate athletics programs. Northwest athletics teams have won numerous conference titles, and the football program is a winner of three national championships since 1998.
Northwest also prides itself on high success rates among its student-athletes. Student-athletes at Northwest boast a graduation rate of 87 percent. Student-athletes in all Northwest sports programs are posting graduation rates that exceed Division II averages, and nine Northwest teams have graduation rates above 90 percent. The national average among all student-athletes is 71 percent.Baker succeeds Dr. Bob Boerigter, who resigned from the University in September to become commissioner of the MIAA.
Mark Hornickel, Media Relations Specialist
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Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468