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Coach's Corner - Tue, Sep. 5, 2017
Coach's Corner: Highlight of the Week (September 5)

Devyn Baker, Slaughter Community Charter Head Football Coach

  • High School: Zachary High School | Zachary, LA
  • College: Southern University | Baton Rouge, LA
  • Coach Baker is in his second year at Slaughter Community, and it is the first year for its varsity football program. Their move from Class B to 1A allows the Knights to compete as a varsity football team as a non-select school this season.
  • Coach Baker, has served on the False River Academy staff for the past 2 years. During this time, he has served as Athletic Director, Head Football Coach, Head Boys and Girls Track & Field Coach, Head Boys and Girls Cross Country Coach.
  • Baker began his teaching and coaching career at his Alma Mater, Zachary High School. After serving three years as a defensive backs coach, Baker departed his Alma Mater for White Castle High School. Baker served as the Defensive Coordinator and Head Track & Field Coach. While at White Castle High School the football team finished district runner-ups two years in a row. Also, while at White Castle High, Coach Baker earned Coach of the Year along with a District Championship in Track & Field. 
  • Coach Baker was also a finalist for the President's Award of Excellence for Outstanding Civics Teacher
 

It's the first year for varsity football for your Knights, so you are responsible for essentially building this program from scratch. What has been the toughest part in doing that?

Just getting the parents to understand and buy in to what a real football program should be like. It's different for the parents because they're not used to it, which is understandable. They don't understand why they have to watch film on Sunday's, practice on Labor Day, etc. The players have bought in and understand. If I ask them to practice in a hurricane, they would. They are committed and dedicated. But getting the parents to buy in is definitely more of a challenge.

Your team is pretty young, having no seniors on this year's roster, so you implemented a "leadership academy" to teach leadership skills. How did this idea come about? And have your guys bought into it?  

We started it during the summer after film on Sundays and I would meet with four or five guys and discuss leadership qualities and how to handle certain situations. I picked four or five guys that are really committed, and we actually have shirts that say "All In." It started with two or three guys and became five, and now those five guys are our captains. It really came about because I thought we were lacking leadership, and I realized I was asking for something that they had never had to do before. So by meeting with them once a week I was able to show them how to be a leader. It's funny because now it's a competition amongst the guys because they want to be a part of the leadership academy.

What inspired you to get into coaching? Is it something you always wanted to do?

It started in 2009. I went to play football at Mississippi State and it didn't work and I came back home. I originally was an accounting major, but I changed my major and I went back to my high school and started coaching. I just really missed being around the game. So then I fell in love with it and I stuck with it.

Who are your coaching mentors? What is the best advice they have given you?

My biggest mentor is Coach Tommy Douglas. He surprised me big time Friday night. They were singing the national anthem, and I looked over and saw him. He coached me in high school, and Coach Douglas had a big impact on me. We keep in touch and contact one another pretty often. When I first became a head coach I talked to him and he said just be yourself. Be who you are and don't change. People may not like everything you do but just be true to who you are.