ASHVILLE — An opportunity to expand his role working with student-athletes was too much for Joel Baker to pass up.
“I’ve been helping (Randy Hageman) out over the last several years in his role as athletic director and when an opportunity came up to take that job and get to work with all of our students here at Teays Valley and not just those on the girls basketball team, I thought it was a great opportunity,” Baker said.
Baker was officially approved on Monday evening by the district’s board of education as the high school’s new athletic director.
With the success the Vikings have enjoyed on the field, court and mat over the past several seasons, plus enhancements to the school’s athletic facilities, Baker wants to continue and build on a solid foundation.
“The district has grown a lot since I started here and we’ve had a lot of athletic success, not just in the Mid-State League, but also in the postseason, especially with softball making the state tournament three out of the last five seasons and winning a state title,” Baker said. “Our kids feed off that success and they want to work hard to try to build on what those previous teams have accomplished.
“The community has come together and invested in our facilities through the district and boosters working together, with the new scoreboard at the stadium and field turf for this school year, which will benefit football, soccer and our other programs.”
Baker resigned as girls basketball coach to become athletic director. In his seven years leading the program, Baker guided the Vikings to five MSL-Buckeye championships and three district tournament berths.
“It was really hard to leave the program, but I’ll still be around the girls as athletic director,” Baker said. “I took over the program in a good position from what Samantha Rohrbacher did and we were able to continue and build on that with kids who work hard, were coachable and competed hard every night.
“I’ve been here long enough now to where some of the kids I coached have graduated from college and went on to be contributing members of the community. That’s what I’m most proud of.”
Trevor Younkin, pending board approval, will succeed Baker as girls basketball coach.