Dallas Baker: former Gator reflects on playing and coaching career

After becoming a national champion in 2007 at Florida, Dallas Baker is currently the wide receivers coach at Marshall. Earlier, Baker spoke with Steve Russell on Sport Scene about his time as a Gator, coaching career and more.

Relationship with Urban Meyer

Baker played for the Gators from 2003 to 2006. During his senior season, he helped his team to an SEC championship and national title.

“Every time I think about that place I get choked up,” Baker said. “Florida is where I learned how to become a man and how to play this game.”

However, Baker’s on-field accomplishments are just part of his love for UF. His relationship with coach Urban Meyer was especially important. On Sport Scene, Baker described the relationship.

In addition, Meyer was a key reason that Baker became a coach. According to Baker, he knew as soon as high school that he wanted to coach football.

“It all started from the impact my coaches had on my life,” Baker said.

Coaching career

Baker began his coaching career due to a connection with an old baseball coach. As a result, Baker became the wide receivers coach at Warner University.

Then, Marshall head coach Doc Holliday pursued him. Holliday worked under Urban Meyer as an assistant coach at Florida. He offered to fly Baker up for an interview.

“I was like ‘Coach, I will ride a bike all the way from Lake Wales, Florida all the way to Huntington, West Virginia to show you how much I want the job,'” Baker said.

In time, Baker will begin his fourth season as the wide receivers coach at Marshall. He enjoys coaching the receivers that remind Baker of himself.

“I believe that’s why a lot of us coaches get into the profession; to stay around the game,” Baker said. “When you do something for so long and you love it so much, it’s like a marriage. It’s hard to just walk away.”

Dallas Baker speaks out for others

Recently, Cade Thompson, who is the brother of a sophomore wide receiver at Marshall, was diagnosed with cancer. In light of the diagnosis, Baker shaved his head in solidarity.

Furthermore, Baker decided to raise awareness for those dealing with cancer and other hardships. He took to Twitter with the hashtag, “YouAreNotAlone.”

“That’s what I wanted to speak about,” Baker said. “Anyone that’s going through mental health issues, or feeling alone, or affected by cancer and bullying.”

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