First impressions key, AD candidate says

By Clarence Plank: PNT staff writer

First impressions are important. Wayne Baker knows that.

Just in case he didn’t, a coach he hopes to work with reminded him.

“You’ll be surprised the number of recruits that come in the
evening,” Eastern New Mexico University baseball coach Phil Clabaugh
said, “and (you’ll) go get them for breakfast and they’re gone.”

Baker, the current executive director of the National Junior College
Athletic Association, is the last of four candidates interviewed to
fill the soon-to-be-vacant athletic director slot at the Division II
college.

Baker, a former associate director of the NJCAA for 10 years, said
he had been to ENMU nearly two decades ago for a sporting event, and
said then and now the university is much better at first sight than
many comparable schools.

But improvement is always possible.

“When you’re recruiting a student from Dallas, Albuquerque or Houston,” he said, “the first impressions are important.”

Baker said he hopes to incorporate what he’s found to be successful at his current position, where he has been since 2004.

“For the last five years as executive director, I followed the
Division II model,”