A Rich History: Baker 'til I Die
Since the first football victory in 1890, Baker student-athletes have excelled between the lines and in the classroom. Join the 'Cat Backers and learn the soccer songs, paint your torso orange and blow the touchdown horn on Saturdays.
No Pads. No Helmets. Not Even a Coach.
A 22-9 victory over the University of Kansas in 1890—the first intercollegiate football game played in the state—was the first chapter of the Wildcats’ storied football history.
Liston Stadium, home for Wildcat football, track and field, and soccer, was built during the mid-1930s by a group of 30 young men trading labor for tuition money. The University planned to build a stadium in memory of 13 Baker alumni who lost their lives in World War I, but no funds were available.
Legendary athletic figure Emil Liston came up with the plan to offer a college education for labor. Although many of the workers were inexperienced, they compensated with pride, and the finished product was described in the Kansas City Star as one of the finest stadiums in the Midwest. Plaques honoring the 13 fallen soldiers adorn the pillars on the west side of the stadium's stone wall.
A Leader in Basketball
Well-known KU basketball coach Phog Allen first acquired his reputation as a coach at Baker before moving up the road to that other school.
Basketball and football coach Emil Liston, a member of the National Basketball Hall of Fame, helped found the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics to organize the first national collegiate basketball championship in 1937. The NAIA now consists of more than 360 schools throughout the United States and in Canada and sponsors two dozen national championship events.
2012-13 Athletes Dominate Locally and Nationally
Baker's athletic teams are enjoying another memorable year with top performances at conference championships and national competition.
For the third consecutive season, the women's soccer team recorded a postseason victory on the heels of reaching the NAIA quarterfinals in 2011 and NAIA semifinals in 2010. The men's cross country team, led by individual champion Jeremy Bryan, claimed the Heart of America Athletic Conference team championship and finished 10th—its highest placing—at the NAIA national meet. Capped by an appearance in the NAIA playoffs, Baker's football team finished 2012 with an 8-3 record and No. 11 final national ranking.
In the classroom, fall athletes continued to shine. Baker had 27 students named NAIA Scholar-Athletes, including 10 members of the football team.
Winter teams also thrived. The track and field teams dominated at conference, sweeping the men's and women's indoor meet with multiple individual champions. At the national indoor meet, five Wildcats were recognized as All-Americans. The wrestling program, completing its fourth year, qualified seven wrestlers for the national championship, where two Wildcats earned All-America honors for placing in the top six, and the team finished the season ranked 15th in the country. The women's basketball team made tremendous strides en route to a 20-win season.