Weaver ends 25-year run coaching Wildcats
Recruiting close to 500 student-athletes, experiencing the countless practices and road trips in 25 years as a basketball coach had more of an impact on Rick Weaver than the 358 victories he has compiled at Baker University.
“The relationships with the players are the most important part of the job,” said Weaver, who will retire with the most victories in the history of the Baker basketball program. “The wins and losses come and go, but the relationships are constant.”
Weaver, the Wildcat head coach since 1985, retired from coaching basketball at the end of the 2009-2010 season. Weaver served as head golf coach for 20 years before stepping down from that post in 2005.
Weaver’s stint at Baker — the longest of any coach in any sport for the Wildcats — included three Heart of America Athletic Conference Coach of the Year honors, the school’s first conference championship (1989) and first NAIA tournament berth (1996). He coached two NAIA All-Americans — John Smith (1989, 1991) and Brent Dorsey (1998). Three overseas trips for exhibition games to Germany, France, Holland, Belgium, England, Greece, Italy and Spain also were among the highlights.
When asked to choose his favorite basketball moment, the 78-69 victory over William Jewell in 1988 immediately came to mind. The Cardinals entered the contest with a 45-game conference winning streak, 19-0 record and No. 4 ranking.
Before coming to Baker, Weaver was the head basketball coach for five years (1980-1985) at Wayne (Neb.) State and two years (1978-1980) at Westmar College in LeMars, Iowa. He has enjoyed making Baldwin his permanent home.
“As the years went by I seemed to become more entrenched at BU and in the Baldwin community,” Weaver said. “I can’t imagine a better place to raise kids than Baldwin, and I’ve really enjoyed being involved in the community and school activities.”
Weaver will remain connected to Baker. He plans to continue teaching and assist with fund raising through 2011-2012 at the University.
Staying in touch with basketball and golf alumni, especially those former players who are coaching, remains important to Weaver.
“I have enjoyed following former players as they build their own lives and raise their families,” Weaver said. “Obviously I get a kick out of following the guys who got into coaching. Once in awhile I’ll catch one of their games and I’ll even see an old Baker play.”
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