Gene Baker, legendary Granite City High School soccer coach, dies
GRANITE CITY (KMOV) -- Gene Baker, the former Granite City High School soccer coach who won nine state championships, five of them consecutive, died Saturday at 79 years old.
The Granite City School District announced Baker’s death Monday. He was the head boys soccer coach at Granite City High School and Granite City High School South from 1973 to 1999. The team won five straight state titles from 1976-1980. Baker’s Warriors went on to win four more state championships in 1982, 1987, 1989 and 1990.
Baker also coached the GCHS girls soccer team from its inaugural season in 1987 to 1997. The team made three appearances in the state finals while Baker was coach. He coached over 700 wins in his career and was named the National High School Coach of the Year in 1983 and 1988. He is also a member of the Granite City Sports Hall of Fame.
He played college soccer at Saint Louis University and was a member of the 1965 undefeated team that won the NCAA national championship.
“Baker inspired countless students and athletes with his enthusiasm, kindness, and wisdom,” the school district said in a press release.
Baker coached men’s and women’s collegiate soccer at Blackburn University from 2001 to 2009. In addition to coaching, he taught English and literature for 27 years.
The soccer field at Granite City High School is named after Baker.
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