When Success Unlimited Academy football coach Bill Granger went in search of an assistant coach, he knew exactly where to start. He just didn’t know whether his recruiting efforts would work.

Granger succeeded in securing Marty Baker as an offensive assistant for the upcoming 2019-20 season. Baker retired five years ago after 20 years of coaching at the junior high, high school and collegiate levels.

   “I was kind of wary at first,” Baker admitted. “I had burned out on the teaching side of it. The more I thought about it and the more I prayed about it and asked God to direct me down the right path, the more I said I really miss being on the field, the Friday nights and the camaraderie of athletics.”

   Granger still has one vacancy to fill on his coaching staff, but was happy to have Baker working with the Mustangs’ offense.

   “Marty’s a very good offensive-minded football coach,” Granger said. “He loves that side of the football. Marty is a guy I would love coaching the wide receivers and running backs. I have a really, really outstanding offensive line coach in Mark McDonald and I think the pair of those – and another coach to be named later – I think that will really benefit us.”

And while Granger said Baker “loves calling the plays and being in on the strategy,” he stopped short of handing out additional offensive duties, such as those for offensive coordinator, saying he wanted all of his coaches involved in every aspect of the game and he would assign duties once he had assembled a complete staff.

   Baker, a graduate of Hooper Academy, started coaching while he was still in high school. He teamed with his older brother Gregg, currently an assistant at Wetumpka High, when the latter was the head coach at Faulkner and teamed with his younger brother Dusty, who handled the defensive side of the ball when Marty was the head coach at Brewbaker Junior High.  

   Granger praised his “years of experience, his success, the family is a family of coaches that have lived, eaten and breathed the sport. He grew up in the same neighborhood. I know the family. He’s a really good man. I know he’s going to treat people well. We share the same responsibilities in church and I just know what kind of person he is.”

   Baker got his first job at the age of 19 as an assistant coach under Tommy Goodson at Floyd Junior High, serving as the head coach of the ‘C’ team (seventh grade) in 1994 and continuing his role with the program until it switched over to a magnet school following the 1997 season.

   Baker became the head coach at Brewbaker in 1998, winning five city junior high football championships in his eight years at the school. He became the athletic director at Georgia Washington Junior High in 2007-2009, stepping down to serve as receivers’ coach at Faulkner from 2009-12.

   He followed Gregg to Catholic in 2013 as a volunteer with the program while teaching at Jeff Davis High for a year.

  He will teach health and Bible courses at Success Unlimited and while he knows little about the Mustangs’ one-year program, he’s eager to get to work at the school.

“I know last year was their first year of football but all I know is what (Granger) has told me,” Baker said. “I’m looking forward to helping him build the program basically from the ground up.

Sports Editor