• Joined Northern Arizona University as the defensive line coach in the spring of 2011.
• Baker has had at least one player earn all-conference honors every year he has coached at NAU. Zach McDonnell continued that line of honors in 2015, when he helped NAU’s defense finish tied for third in sacks (27) and third in opponent fourth down conversions (47.1). The defensive line also recorded 59 tackles for a loss of 241 yards.
• Coached freshman tackle Deon Young and transfer end Siupeli Anau to Big Sky Honorable Mention accolades in 2014.
• In 2014, Baker’s line was crucial in NAU being ranked first in the Big Sky in pass defense (177.2) and opponent third-down conversions (33.3), second in scoring defense (25.7), pass defense efficiency (122.2) and opponent first downs (19.2), and third in total defense (390.2).
• In 2013, helped coach NAU to its first Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) playoff appearance in 10 years.
• Thanks to a stellar senior class, the Lumberjacks led the Big Sky in total defense (348.3), pass defense (190.8), passing efficiency defense (107.7), opponent first downs (17.7), opponent third-down conversions (34.9) and opponent fourth-down conversions (29.4). NAU ranked fourth in conference-only games in rush defense (133.4). The Lumberjacks finished eighth in the FCS in opponent fourth-down conversions and 13th in team passing efficiency defense.
• Baker’s unit recorded 59 tackles for loss and 21 sacks in 2013. The defensive line was led by three-time all-conference honoree Tim Wilkinson, who was responsible for 5.5 sacks – ninth best in the Big Sky - for a total of 23 yards. Joining Wilkinson on the all-conference teams were Chima Ike and Steven Garcia. Ike tallied 35 tackles and 3.0 sacks, while Garcia ranked third on the team with 66 tackles and 4.0 sacks.
• Baker’s defensive line ranked in the top five in the league in rushing defense in 2011. Leading the way were all-conference honorees Jarret Bilbrey and Wilkinson for the second year in a row. Bilbrey tallied 61 tackles and seven sacks for a total of 41 yards. Wilkinson added 37 tackles and 6.5 sacks for 26 yards. Both Bilbrey and Wilkinson ranked in the top five in the Big Sky in sacks during conference play.
• With Baker coaching the defensive front in 2011, NAU ranked 35th in the FCS against the rush in his first season. Senior Isaac Bond earned All-Big Sky First Team honors after recording a team-best 7.5 tackles for loss (third in the Big Sky) with 4.0 sacks. Senior Dan Pela was a CoSIDA Academic All-District choice.
• Prior stints include defensive coordinator at Montana Western (2010), defensive coordinator at Eastern Oregon University (2002-05) - was the interim head coach during the 2004 season, hiring current NAU defensive coordinator Andy Thompson. Eastern’s special teams’ punt and kickoff return units both ranked among the NAIA top 10.
• Coached at Utah State under head coach Dave Arslanian (1999) and Mike Dennehy (2000-01) working with the defensive line from 1999-01.
• Coached five student-athletes who earned all-conference honors with the Aggies. In 2001, defensive end Nick Onaindia signed with the Oakland Raiders after leading the team in tackles for loss.
• Also spent two years (1997-98) as an assistant coach at Lake Havasu (Ariz.) High School.
• Was an all-county quarterback at Brockport (N.Y.) High School, while also playing basketball. Baker has also coached basketball and baseball at the high school level.
• Earned a degree in physical education from Suny College at Brockport in 1996 and a master’s of education in secondary education from Utah State in 2001.
• Coaching Accolades
All-Conference Honorees - Blayne Anderson (2011, HM), Isaac Bond (2011, 1st), Jarrett Bilbrey (2012, HM), Marc Thompson (2012, HM), Tim Wilkinson (2011, HM; 2012, 2nd; 2013, 1st;), Chima Ike (2013, 3rd), Steven Garcia (2013, HM), Siupeli Anau (2014, HM), Deon Young (2014, HM), Zach McDonnell (2015, HM)
THE TRAVIS BAKER FILE
Born: May 19, 1973
College: Suny College at Brockport, 1996; Utah State, 2001
1997 Lake Havasu High School, WR/DB/ST
1998 Lake Havasu High School, DC/LB/ST/WR
1999-01 Utah State, Defensive Line
2002-05 Eastern Oregon University, Defensive Coordinator
2010 Montana Western, Defensive Coordinator
2011-Pres. Northern Arizona University, Defensive Line