Jan. 9, 2001
Guy Baker has been named the head coach of the U.S. Women's National Senior Team and National Teams Director, which oversees all the women's national teams, it was announced today. With the demands of his new job, Baker will no longer be able to coach at UCLA.
"It is my desire that by taking this position water polo can grow from a regional sport to a national sport. With the impact of the Olympic games and our first NCAA Championship, the potential growth of our sport could be unlimited. It is a truly exciting time for women's water polo," said Baker.
In addition to being the head coach of the Senior A team, Baker will oversee the four teams that make up the national team program- the Senior B team, the Junior team and the Youth team. He will be responsible for selecting coaches, setting up training and competition schedules and assisting in the player selection process.
Baker has guided the men's water polo team at UCLA since 1991, and took on responsibility of the women's team when it was promoted to varsity status in 1995. In the 10 years that he has been at UCLA, he led the Bruins to four men's NCAA titles between 1995 and 2000 and three consecutive women's national championships between 1996 and 1998.
In 10 seasons with the men's team, Baker compiled a 174-90 record, and was 108-14 in four seasons with the women's team. His combined record is 282-104.
He jumped on to the National team scene in 1998 when he was named head coach of the US Women's National Team after one year as an assistant for the Men's National Team. He was named US Water Polo Coach of the Year in 2000, for the second time in three years, after leading the US Women's team to the silver medal in the Sydney Olympics.
"It is difficult to leave UCLA. It has been the most rewarding experience, both personally and professionally. If it weren't for UCLA allowing me the opportunity to work at the national level, this job would never have materialized," Baker said.
Co-Head Coach Adam Krikorian will take over the reigns of the women's team this spring. "I am able to leave a little easier knowing that Adam will be in charge. He is as much a part of UCLA water polo as I am," said Baker.
Krikorian has been co-head coach since the spring of 1999, and led the women's team to the 2000 national championship while Baker was with the US National team. Krikorian has been associated with UCLA for nine of the ten years that Baker was in Westwood, either as a student-athlete, assistant coach or co-head coach. In the last six men's and five women's seasons, UCLA won eight national championships in the 11 combined seasons. Krikorian won the first one as a player, and the next seven as a coach.