Ed Baker came to K in 1967 and was a professor of physical education, head college football coach — a position he held for 19 seasons, and men’s track coach. In Ed Baker’s last game as Hornet football coach in November of 1989, when Kalamazoo fell behind rival Hope College 21-3 in the third quarter. Under Coach Baker’s guidance, K rallied and took the lead for good early in the final period, holding on for a stunning victory and snapping a 24-game winless streak. It marked the first victory against Hope’s Flying Dutchmen since 1969. During his tenure, Coach Baker rejuvenated a Hornet football program that was spiraling downward, all the while encouraging his teams and his students. He had a wonderful sensitivity toward young people and appreciated their talents.
Coach Baker passed away on December 11, 2013, after a lengthy fight with prostate cancer. A memorial service will be held at Stetson Chapel at a future date.