Mitchell Baker joined the Brown staff as Head Coach of Women's Cross Country and Assistant Coach of Track and Field in charge of women's middle and long distance events in August 2011. Prior to arriving on College Hill, Baker spent four years as an assistant coach at Williams College in Massachusetts, serving first as a cross country assistant and then four years as the primary event coach for the men and women competing in the middle distances.
At Williams, Baker assisted teams that garnered seven finishes in the NCAA top-ten, eleven Division III New England Regional Championships, and eleven New England Small College Athletic Conference titles. As the day-to-day coach of the middle-distance events, ten student-athletes earned a total of twenty-two All-American awards. Of those, ten came by virtue of top-three NCAA finishes, including the men's outdoor 5,000-meter champion in 2010, later named USTFCCCA Outdoor Track Scholar Athlete of the Year. Another of his student-athletes raced to runner-up NCAA Outdoor 1,500-meter finishes in consecutive years, was named New England Regional Athlete of the Year and qualified for the 2009 USATF Senior Championships in Eugene, Oregon, with the eighth fastest time in Division III history. In addition to the All-American performances, student-athletes from his group competed at the NCAA Championships eleven additional times, and fifteen more performances made the NCAA provisional or automatic cut.
During the two fall seasons that Baker assisted Pete Farwell, his former coach and the long-time Head of Cross Country at Williams, the men and women's squads earned third-place, podium finishes in 2008 and three athletes earned All-American honors. Academically, the teams nabbed USTFCCCA Academic honors both years with the 2008 men's team earning National Academic Team of the Year.
One of four children of Drs. Edward and Molly Baker in Macomb, Illinois, Baker followed his oldest sister into running and by the end of high school had placed runner-up at the state meet three times. He was All-New England and competed three times at the NCAA meet for Williams and, as a senior, was cross country captain and recipient of the program's endowed Plansky (cross country) and Creem (track and field) Awards. He studied Art Studio and, after an archaeology fellowship to France upon graduation, pursued architecture in New York City. Inspired by a winter academic term studying public art at Stanford but also shadowing Coach Frank Gagliano, then of The Nike Farm Team, he coupled architecture with coaching high school, first at LaSalle Academy and then Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx.
Baker completed the USATF Level 1 Education School and was certified by the USTFCCCA Track and Field Academy for the jumping events. Encouraged by his former boss at Williams, Fletcher Brooks, in the fall of 2009 Baker traveled to Kenya and learned from Renato Canova, former Head Coach of Italy, Qatar, and current IAAF Lecturer on Endurance. In his personal life, his greatest influence has been the example and support of his parents.