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Tuesday, 05 July 2011 10:33

The Fall That Was

12.20.11 | Athletics

Looking back at one of the most successful fall seasons in Baker history

The Fall That Was

BALDWIN CITY, Kan. – Full-throttle is probably the best word to describe this past fall at Baker University.

The Baker University football team opened the season ranked No. 23 in the nation and grabbed a season-opening bowl game victory over No. 10 Ottawa University, 41-16. Just this past weekend it was announced the ‘Cats finished the season ranked No. 22 after claiming their fifth-consecutive winning season at 7-3.

The Wildcat cross country squads continue to dazzle under head coach Zach Kindler. The women’s team finished second in the Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) and sent two runners (Lauren Jaqua and Ashley McBride) to the 2011 NAIA National Championships. The men’s team won the 2011 HAAC crown on their way to finishing 25th nationally at the 2011 NAIA National Championships. The men closed out the season ranked No. 24 in the final NAIA Men’s Cross Country Coaches’ Postseason Top 25 Poll.

Baker volleyball also set new marks that hadn’t been achieved under veteran head coach Kathy Allen. The Wildcats finished the regular season 26-11 overall and 9-0 in the HAAC, winning their first regular season HAAC Championship under coach AFinal Fourllen. Prior to falling in the HAAC tournament championship game, the Wildcats had won 15-straight matches.

Under the direction of head coach Nate Houser, Baker soccer has elevated to new levels over the past two seasons. The women’s squad entered the season ranked No. 5 nationally and followed up their 2010 Final Four appearance with a trip to the 2011 Elite Eight. The women closed out the season ranked No. 6 nationally with a 15-3-2 overall record. The Baker men’s soccer team finished the year with their highest-ever postseason ranking at No. 3 with a 20-2-1 overall record. The Wildcats knocked off No. 1 Hastings on Oct. 18 on their way to the programs first NAIA Final Four appearance.

With the recent fall success, the Baker athletic department currently ranks No. 8 nationally in the 2011 NAIA Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup Standings. The Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup was developed as a joint effort between the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and USA Today. Points are awarded based on each institution's finish in up to 12 sports -- six women’s and six men’s. View the standings here.

“Our position as a Top 10 NAIA institution in the fall Learfield Directors’ Cup Standings is a true testament to the work ethic of our coaching staff and student-athletes,” said director of athletics Theresa Yetmar. “Their efforts in the classroom and on the field have elevated our programs to new levels of success. I’m extremely proud that we had multiple conference titles and nationals appearances this fall. This ranking is proof of the excellence we strive for every day in each of our athletic programs.”

Individually, the numbers were staggering as Baker University ranked No. 1 in the Heart of America Athletic Conference with 28 NAIA scholar-athletes. Student-athletes are nominated by their institution's head coach and must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and must have achieved a junior academic status in order qualify for the honor.


50HAAC All-Conference Athletes
28NAIA Scholar-Athletes
15HAAC Players of the Week
5HAAC Players of the Year
4HAAC Regular Season Titles
2HAAC Coaches of the Year
2NAIA Elite Eights
1Region Coach of the Year
1NAIA Final Fours


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