Navy men’s soccer head coach Dave Brandt has announced the promotion of Nate Baker to assistant coach after he served as a volunteer assistant with the program last fall. Baker replaces Derek Potteiger, who left to become the head coach at NCAA Division III Gordon College a few weeks ago.
“I am extremely happy with Nate’s appointment to first assistant coach in our program. He is a sharp young coach and the right person at the right time in terms of the ways he can specifically help our program immediately,” said Navy head men’s soccer coach Dave Brandt.
“This is a dream job for me working at the United States Naval Academy. I get to teach, mentor and build upon my relationships with a special group of players, while learning everyday from one of the country’s greatest coaches. I am truly humbled by the opportunity to be part of something so special,” said Baker.
Baker helped the Midshipmen to a 7-7-3 record last fall that featured a 5-2-1 start with wins over 20th-ranked George Mason, Big East member Pittsburgh and eventual Patriot League Tournament champion Lafayette. He helped coach a Navy offense that finished 23rd in the country in scoring offense (1.88 goals per game) and featured five players that scored at least 10 points for the first time in 12 years. A pair of Navy players earned All-Patriot League recognition for the first time since 2006 and freshman Derek Vogel (Long Beach, Calif.) was named a freshman All-American by CollegeSoccerNews.com and the league’s Rookie of the Year.
Prior to his time at Navy, he spent the previous year as the Executive Director of Soccer Means More, LLC, a training company that worked as an adjunct to club training, writing an age-specific cirriculum for every level that stressed technique on and off the ball.
Starting in 2009, he was a staff coach at the Freestate Soccer Alliance, coaching the U-13 Strikers to promotion in three successive seasons in the NCSL. Baker led the team to the Bethesda Thanksgiving Tournament crown in 2009 and won the US Soccer Club Regionals with two different groups in 2010. He coached a pair of squads to first-place finishes in Division II NCSL in the fall of 2010.
He has also spent time as a staff coach for the Maryland Olympic Development Program and as a college summer coach at both the University of Maryland and Navy.
Baker is a 2007 graduate of American University, where he was a four-year starter for the Eagles and led the team to the Patriot League Championship in 2004. He served as a two-year captain and helped American also reach the 2005 league final. He graduated with a degree in broadcast journalism, boasting a 3.40 GPA.
Following his time at American, Baker played professionally for the four years with the Harrisburg City Islanders and Real Maryland Monarchs of the United Soccer League (USL). As a starter on both squads, Baker helped his squads defeat DC United (2007) and the New England Revolution (2009) to gain quarterfinal berths in the US Open Cup.
Baker resides in Bowie, Maryland.