“I thoroughly enjoyed my time coaching the Baker University men’s basketball team,” Ballard said. “I was fortunate to work with a group of dedicated players, committed to the classroom and basketball court. I will always be grateful for President Pat Long and Athletic Director Theresa Yetmar having the confidence to give me my first head coaching opportunity in college basketball. The support I received from the administration, alumni and the community was amazing. Seeing all the orange at the national tournament at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City is something I will never forget. Baker University is an amazing place and I am very humbled to have been their head coach.”
Baker advanced to its first Heart of America Athletic Conference championship game in over 15 years and capped that with an NAIA national tournament berth, its first since 1996. Ballard closes his Baker career with a 33-30 overall record, including a 21-12 mark in 2011-12 and a runner-up finish in the 2012 HAAC postseason tournament.
“Brett did exactly what we asked of him – to bring a new level of play and excitement to our basketball program,” said Baker University president Pat Long. “He did just that and more. He became a leader on campus and within the community. He was Baker through and through. I will miss him as a coach and as a person.”
Baker Athletic Director Theresa Yetmar echoed those sentiments and indicated the athletic department was ready to begin its search for a new head coach immediately.
“Coach Ballard has had a tremendous impact on our men's basketball program during his time at the helm,” Yetmar said. “Under his leadership we ascended to the HAAC Championship game and returned to the national tournament for the first time since 1995-96. We are extremely proud of these accomplishments. Brett is a rising star in this profession and we wish Brett, Kelly, and their entire family the best of luck on this new adventure. I will immediately begin a search for our next head coach. I believe our program has a bright future ahead of it with our current team and recruits. We will carry the positive momentum from our recent success forward.”