JONESBORO, Ark. (AStateRedWolves.com) — Arkansas State head football coach Bryan Harsin announced Thursday that Blake Baker has been named an assistant coach for the Red Wolves. Baker will be a defensive assistant coach and appointed to oversee a specific position at a later date.
Baker comes to A-State after spending 2010 through 2012 as a defensive graduate assistant coach at the University of Texas. He worked closely with the both the Longhorns' linebackers and defensive backs, two position groups that included eight All-Big 12 selections over the last two years. He also helped coach All-American linebacker and Lott Trophy finalist Emmanuel Acho and cornerback Quandre Diggs, the 2011 Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year.
Baker was a part of the Texas coaching staff in 2011 that led the Longhorns to a No. 11 national ranking in total defense, yielding just 306.8 yards per game. The 2011 Longhorns' defense also ranked among the top 20 teams in the nation in rush defense (96.2 ypg), pass efficiency defense (111.0) and tackles for loss (7.4 pg).
Texas has won 16 games in Baker's two years on the coaching staff, including a 21-10 victory over California in last year's Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl. The Longhorns are set to play Oregon State in the 2012 Valero Alamo Bowl on Dec. 29. Baker not only worked with Harsin the last two years at Texas, but also with current Longhorns head coach Mack Brown and Florida head coach Will Muschamp during his tenure at the school.
"We are excited to welcome Coach Baker to Arkansas State and our football program," said Harsin. "Not only is he a quality coach with a great knowledge of the game, but he's also had the opportunity to work under two great defensive coordinators in Will Muschamp and Manny Diaz during his time at Texas. He will bring a great deal of enthusiasm and energy to our coaching staff, and he will make a strong impact in recruiting for us as well."
Prior to joining the Texas staff, Baker spent the 2009 season as a wide receivers coach at Clear Springs High School in Houston, Texas, before taking over duties as linebackers coach the following spring.