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Monday, 11 April 2011 11:31

Decker Resigns

4.11.11 | Women's Basketball

Baker University women’s basketball head coach Susan Decker to step down

Susan Decker

BALDWIN CITY, Kan. – Baker University women’s basketball coach Susan Decker announced on Monday that she has resigned her post after 11 seasons leading the Wildcat program.

Decker, a former NAIA All-American at Tabor College from 1989-1992, said she felt that this was the right time to transition to a new professional challenge and turn the program over to new leadership.  Decker will expand her current part-time teaching role to become a full-time faculty member at the Baker’s College of Arts and Sciences in the fall of 2011.

“I am really excited for the opportunity that Baker has provided for me to move in a new direction with my teaching career,” Decker said. “Baker basketball will continue to hold a special place in my heart and I will always be grateful for the opportunity that was given to me by Dan Harris and Baker University 11 years ago to become the women's basketball coach.  I want to send a special thank you to all the administration, faculty, staff, current and former players of Baker.  This has been a tremendous experience in my life and one I will never forget.”

Baker athletic director Theresa Yetmar thanked Decker for her contributions and her efforts to build the women’s basketball program into an HAAC contender.

“Susan has done an amazing job as our head women’s basketball coach,” Yetmar said.  “She took a respectable program and turned it into a competitive program year in and year out. I’m very proud that our program is recognized for quality, both on the court and in the classroom.”

Decker guided Baker to three 21-win seasons (2001-02, 2003-04, 2004-05), setting school records for the number of games won in a single season. In addition to success on the court, Coach Decker’s teams have also been successful in the classroom. The Baker women’s basketball program has produced 20 NAIA Scholar-Athletes in the past seven seasons.

“Susan instilled the value of academic success to the student-athletes in our women’s basketball program,” Yetmar said.  “She has been and will continue to be a great representative of our institution.  We wish her all the best in her new professional venture and welcome the opportunity to work with her as a colleague in the classroom.”

During Decker’s tenure as head coach, she also functioned as a part-time faculty member for Baker, teaching courses in the Department of Health, Sport, and Human Performance. Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Dr. Rand Ziegler has indicated that Decker will be an important part of an emerging new department of behavioral and health science.

“I have always admired Susan’s ability to dedicate so much time and energy to her faculty duties despite her seemingly full-time coaching responsibility.  Susan has not only been successful in the classroom; she has also been effective in her student academic advising and University committee work, two other important components of a faculty member’s job.   I look forward to involving her full-time on the academic side as we transition into a new liberal studies curriculum and academic department realignment.”

A national search for a new head women’s basketball coach will begin immediately under Yetmar’s leadership.  “We will move swiftly and with purpose,” Yetmar said.  “I am confident that we will hire a new head coach who will connect with our current and incoming women’s basketball players.”

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