North Meck tabs Baker as new football coach
by Staff Writer
by Cliff Mehrtens
North Mecklenburg High named Brad Baker, a Mooresville High assistant coach, as head football coach Monday, Feb. 27.
Baker, 34, spent the past six seasons at Mooresville, and four seasons at Reidsville High. This is his first head coaching job, and he’ll teach history at North Mecklenburg beginning in April.
“I’ve been in two small football-crazy towns, and one of the things that attracted me to North Meck is that it still has that small-town feel, even though they have almost 2,000 students,” Baker said. “I’m extremely excited about getting started.”
Baker replaces Mike Bradley, who resigned in January after seven seasons at North Mecklenburg. The Vikings struggled to a 1-10 record last season, but next season’s squad will include 30 seniors.
The school’s enrollment has been reduced twice recently as attendance boundaries changed.
“Being split twice in the past five years, by (opening of) Mallard Creek and Hough, and to stay competitive at least through that says a lot about their character,” Baker said. “Hopefully now that everything’s calmed down with the split, this is an opportunity to rebound and bring back that stature.”
Baker said he will meet the North Mecklenburg players and staff on Thursday, March 1. A meeting with football parents is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 7 in the school auditorium.
North Mecklenburg athletics director Kevin Wilson said characteristics the school was searching for in its new coach included stability, experience worth emulating, personality to attract and keep a coaching staff, and flexibility.
“Coach Baker will bring all these to the football program,” Wilson said. “He came highly recommended from his current administration and head coach. He projects a level of energy and confidence that our student-athletes will embrace.”
Baker was chosen from a pool of more than 50 applicants.
“I’ve learned from two of the best coaches around, (Reidsville’s) Jimmy Teague and (Mooresville’s) Hal Capps,” Baker sad. “They’re mentors to me, and showed me how to do things the right way. I’ve got to be my own person, but I’m always going to lean on their expertise and kind of model myself after what they do.
“We’ll be preaching ‘team first.’ We’re always going to compete in the classroom, the weight room and on the field.