Blake Baker is entering his second season as defensive coordinator and inside linebackers coach, having joined the Miami Hurricanes staff in January 2019.
In his first season at The U, Baker coordinated a defense that ranked No. 13 nationally in total defense (yards allowed per game) and No. 12 nationally in yards per play allowed. In addition, the Hurricanes ranked No. 4 nationally in tackles for loss, No. 6 in sacks, No. 10 in run defense, No. 16 in red zone defense and No. 18 in pass defense.
Four Hurricanes on Baker’s side of the ball earned All-ACC recognition: cornerback Trajan Bandy, linebackers Michael Pinckney and Shaq Quarterman and defensive end Greg Rousseau. In addition to earning all-conference honors, Rousseau was named ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year after tying for second place in single-season sacks at Miami with 15.5 in his first season as a starter. He also was named a Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) second-team All-American.
Prior to arriving in Coral Gables, Baker spent the previous four seasons as defensive coordinator at Louisiana Tech. Under Baker’s direction, the Bulldogs defense ranked among the nation’s best in several categories. In 2018, Louisiana Tech was fourth nationally in team sacks (3.46 per game), 12th nationally in team tackles for loss (7.8) and 33rd nationally in turnovers gained (22). Louisiana Tech ranked 25th nationally in opponent yards per play (4.9) this past season, as the Bulldogs’ stout defensive unit was led by All-America defensive end Jaylon Ferguson, who ranked second in the nation in tackles for loss (26.5) and led the country in sacks (17.5).
Baker, 36, replaced Diaz as defensive coordinator at Louisiana Tech when Diaz accepted the same position at Mississippi State for the 2015 season. Baker worked under Diaz as safeties coach at Louisiana Tech in 2014, and also was a two-year graduate assistant (2011-2012) under him during Diaz’s time as defensive coordinator at Texas.
Baker went to Arkansas State after spending 2010 through 2012 as a defensive graduate assistant coach at Texas. He worked closely with 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-America linebacker and Lott Trophy finalist Emmanuel Acho and cornerback Quandre Diggs, the 2011 Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year.
He 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 yards per game), pass efficiency defense (111.0) and tackles for loss (7.4 per game).
Texas won 17 games in Baker’s two years on the coaching staff, including a 21-10 victory over California in the 2011 Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl and a 31-27 win against Oregon State in the 2012 Valero Alamo Bowl.
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.
The Houston native was a four-year letterman and three-year starter at Tulane from 2000-04, helping lead the Green Wave to a win in the 2002 Hawaii Bowl. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Tulane in 2008.
Baker is married to the former Roslyn Jones of Mandeville, La., and the couple has a daughter, Anderson, and a son, Byron.