Holy Trinity tabs Baker to be new cross country coach
Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy’s new cross country coach has a wealth of experience and a pretty famous friend in his corner.
The school announced it has hired Scott Baker to replace Doug Butler, who was dismissed last November after leading the Tigers to four state track championships and 16 cross country championships in 15 years at the school.
Baker, who will also serve as the assistant track & field coach, has more than 28 years of coaching experience in a wide variety of sports. He has coached cross country or track at Oviedo High School, Kennedy Middle School and West Shore.
In fact, Baker led quite a turnaround in his only season at West Shore, taking a team that had finished last in its district the previous year to a second-place finish in 2014. It was the most improved Class 2A team in the state.
Now he will be in charge of a Holy Trinity cross country program that has won four consecutive boys state championships and back-to-back girls titles.
“It is every coach’s dream to work with a group of athletes who exhibit a high level of commitment and good habits,” Baker said in a statement released by the school.
“There are many components to being a successful runner, and I look forward to teaching these athletes how to improve themselves.”
Baker ran cross country and track at Titusville High under then-coach Dr. Randy Wilber, who went on to become a Senior Exercise Physiologist for the U.S. Olympic team.
The Tigers new coach also has a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education from UCF.
“Coach Baker brings a great deal of knowledge and energy to the cross country program,” HTEA athletic director Scott Crockett said in a release provided by the school.
“After meeting with him on multiple occasions, it became obvious that he is a great fit for Holy Trinity. He has tremendous resources and his approach to coaching the runners make him a great asset. I am excited he accepted the challenge.”
Among those recommending Baker to Holy Trinity was Olympic athlete Zola Budd, who is also a two-time world record holder in the women’s 5,000 meters and a two-time winner at the World Cross Country Championships.
“He always puts the athlete first and believes you have to have a love of running and not of ‘winning’ to be a great athlete,” Budd said in the school’s release.