Kennesaw Mountain’s Don Baker grew up in a life of sports.
Whether it was watching Braves games with his grandmother as a child, or urging his wife to watch one more quarter, Baker knew he wanted to keep athletics as a centerpiece of his life.
He’ll get the chance to continue his life of sports as he was officially named as the new Cobb County athletic director.
“It ended up getting approved at the board meeting (Thursday) night, so I was paying close attention to the board meeting along with everybody else. Naturally when that went through, we were really excited,” said Baker, who served as the Mustangs’ athletic director since 2010. “I’m really looking forward to the opportunity and celebrating Cobb in a much different capacity, but being able to that effectively.”
Baker first came to Kennesaw Mountain as an assistant football coach and social studies teacher in 2003. With Scott Jones at head coach, the Mustangs went 30-50 from 2003-2010.
Baker served as interim AD in 2010 before taking over full time at the beginning of the 2011 academic year.
Baker will become the county’s first full-time athletic director. Steve Jones, who will retire when his contract is completed next week, held the position in a part time role since 2007. As the job got bigger, former Harrison principal Donnie Griggers came on board to help Jones a few years ago.
Griggers is not retiring, and will help Baker in the transition.
“Donnie Griggers is shifting to a different role in the district,” Baker said. “He’s still going to be a mentor for me, but the position is for a full time athletic director.”
The opportunity to have a bigger role this upcoming year was somewhat fate, Baker said.
“I pick a word for our athletic department each year and we try to live that word through our actions and everything that we do. Before this opportunity even fell in my lap, I had picked the word impact for next school year,” Baker said. “It’s funny how the world works because in this position, I have the ability to have a broader impact in the county by focusing on the positives of athletics.”