New Athletics Director Sees Promising Future
Jim Baker’s first day on the job was one of the most exciting in UT Arlington sports history. His appointment as director of intercollegiate athletics Feb. 1 coincided with the grand opening of the $78 million College Park Center, the new home for Mavericks basketball and volleyball.
Baker believes the state-of-the-art facility and the University’s impending move to the Western Athletic Conference position UT Arlington for success across its 14 NCAA Division I athletics programs.
“The commitment is there from the president on down that we will compete on a national stage,” he says. “We are in a great recruiting place and a great city with a remarkable partnership with the University.”
Baker, who has 30 years experience in athletics administration, philanthropic partnerships, and events management, most recently was associate athletic director for events and operations at UT Austin. He joined the Longhorns in 1991 and has overseen the school’s baseball and golf programs, managed multimillion-dollar construction projects, and supervised football game-day activities. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Franklin University in Columbus, Ohio, and began his career working at Ohio State University. He served in various positions at the University of Florida from 1982 until joining the UT Austin staff.
“We are fortunate to have such an exceptional leader join us at this critical point in the evolution of our athletics program,” President James D. Spaniolo says. “We will look to Jim to advance UT Arlington to even higher levels of regional and national competition.”