Michael Baker enters his third season at Middle Tennessee after joining the Blue Raider coaching staff in June 2009.
Last season, Middle Tennessee's defensive unit allowed a goal or fewer in 15 consecutive matches entering the NCAA Tournament, including every game against a Sun Belt foe. The cumulative 1.13 goals against average was the lowest in three years. Goalkeeper Rebecca Cushing was named the Sun Belt Tournament Most Outstanding Player and added seven shutouts during the campaign, including the league tournament championship against No. 15 Denver.
In his first year with the Blue Raiders, he helped coach the squad to six shutouts and just 26 goals against, fifth fewest in school history. The 1.26 goals against average also ranks among the program's all-time top five.
He came to Murfreesboro after spending three years in the same role at Northwestern State. Baker helped lead the Demons to a 9-9-2 mark in 2008 and 29-25-6 overall record during his tenure with Jimmy Mitchell's squad.
In 2006, the Demons' goalkeepers posted their best goals against average (0.93), allowing just 19 goals in 20 matches. Six of the 19 goals came during Southland Conference action. The team again allowed only six goals in league play during the 2008 campaign.
Prior to arriving at NSU, Baker served two years as an assistant coach at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Fla., for both the Triton men's and women's programs. He held the interim head men's coaching title in spring 2006 in addition to being the academic advisor for the athletic department and its game management coordinator for all sports.
In addition to his collegiate coaching duties, Baker was a member of a four-person selection group in 2004 which chose the United States Jewish National Team which represented the USA in Israel at the July 2005 World Maccabi Games. The squad assembled captured the gold medal without a loss.
A native of Louisville, Ky., Baker began his collegiate career with his hometown Cardinals before transferring and graduating from Western Kentucky in 2004 with a bachelor's degree in agriculture with an emphasis in equine science and a minor in marketing.
He then took on the role of volunteer assistant with the Hilltoppers' women's team for two seasons where he was in charge of game promotions and helped plan and run the summer camps.
He has worked with several high schools and club teams, including the Countryside Lightning, a Nike Premier Club in St. Petersburg. He oversaw the 10U and 13U Girls Premier teams for the organization. Baker also has head coaching experience at Butler County High School, SKY Futbol Club and Mockingbird Valley Soccer Club.
Baker holds a USSF "C" and Brazilian "D" coaching licenses, as well as NSCAA Regional, NSCAA National Youth, NSCAA National and NSCAA Goalkeeper Level 1 and 2 diplomas.