BALDWIN CITY, Kan. – On Tuesday morning, Athletic Director Nate Houser made the announcement that Sara Matthews will take over as Baker University’s women’s soccer coach, effective immediately.
“We are very excited to welcome Sara back into the program,” Athletic Director Nate Houser said. “Her time as a student-athlete at Baker, as well as her experience as an assistant coach during our first journey to the national stage makes her a perfect fit for the program. As a coach, she was with us for our first National Semifinal appearance in 2010, our National Quarterfinal appearance in 2011 and our final 16 appearance in 2013. Sara was also a part of the team’s last conference championship and knows what it takes to win in the Heart of America Athletic Conference. Seeing a former player develop into the right fit for this program is very exciting. We are all looking forward to Sara and the team continuing their success on and off the field.”
As a graduate of Baker University, Sara played soccer for head coach Nate Houser from 2005-2008. In those four seasons, Sara was a three-time team captain, a Heart of America All-Conference performer and was the 2007-2008 Baker University Student Senate Female Athlete of the Year.
Sara returns to Baker after spending the previous two seasons as an assistant coach for the women’s soccer team at Kansas City Kansas Community College. In those two seasons, Matthews helped the team reach new heights as they reached the top-25 of the national rankings for the first time in team history, and helped raise the team’s GPA from a 3.00 to a 3.40.
Prior to her time at KCKCC, Matthews was the head coach at Avila University for four seasons, after spending four seasons as an assistant coach at Baker from 2010-2014. In that four year span with the Wildcats, she helped Baker make multiple runs deep into the NAIA National Championships including the team’s only National Semifinal appearance in 2011, while coaching more than 20 All-Conference student-athletes and six NAIA All-Americans. Prior to her time at Baker as an assistant coach, Matthews attended Washburn University to receive her MBA, while serving as an assistant coach for the women’s soccer team.
Matthews continues to coach at the club level for the KC Fusion Soccer Club, which she has done since 2013. Throughout her time with the club, Sara has had over 75 percent of her players play at the collegiate level and was named the Kansas Youth Soccer Association Girls Competitive Coach of the Year in 2017 after winning the Fall State President’s Cup and the US Youth Soccer Region II President’s Cup.
“I am so honored and thrilled for the opportunity to come back home to Baker,” Matthews said. “I am excited to use my experiences in the conference as well as at different collegiate and club levels. Combine that with a team that’s hungry to get to work, and we’ll have a lot of fun together. It is a rare opportunity as a coach to be able to return to your alma mater and I can’t wait to get started!”
Matthews replaces Mark Sheldon and takes over a team that finished the 2019 season with an overall record of 10-7-1, knocking off three teams that were at least receiving votes in the NAIA Coaches’ Top-25 poll. The Wildcats will return many key members from the team in 2020, including Georgia Vernardakis, Lizzie Rollenhagen and Kaosi Ude who each earned Heart of America All-Conference honors in 2019.
Published at Tue, 05 May 2020 02:05:00 +0000
Baker Wrestling Leads Country With Five NWCA Scholar All-Americans as Team Finishes 10th
Men’s Wrestling – Sun, Apr. 5, 2020
BALDWIN CITY, Kan. – On Saturday, the National Wrestling Coaches Association announced their 2020 Men’s Scholar All-Americans and Scholar Teams. The Wildcats led the entire country with five Scholar All-Americans, while the team finished in 10th place as a team.
“On behalf of the NWCA and our Board of Directors, I am excited to honor the amazing academic achievement demonstrated by this year’s Scholar All-American teams and individuals,” NWCA Executive Director Mike Moyer said.
With a team GPA of 3.214, the Wildcats finished in 10th place as a team, marking their second top-10 finish in the last two years. Two other Heart of America schools finished inside the top-10 as Graceland finished fifth and Grand View finished sixth.
Individually, the Wildcats were one of just three teams to have five honorees, tying Grand View University and Menlo College. Baker University’s honorees include Zane Baugh, Colby Johnson, Isaiah Luellen, Lucas Lovvorn and Jacob Smith.
On the mat, the Wildcats finished in sixth place in 2020, tying the highest finish in team history, while also setting a new team record by collecting five NAIA All-Americans.
Published at Mon, 06 Apr 2020 01:15:00 +0000