“I was very fortunate to take over a program in great shape,” Brandon said. “There was nothing to fix. That’s what was really the pressure to me: Can I continue this? I had some help, somebody who could offer advice. He wasn’t in the gym at practice, he was always in the stands and I knew he was always a phone call away. I always had that in my back pocket.”
Charles Baker took a don’t ask if you don’t want to know kind of attitude.
Olive Hill coaching great Jack Fultz told Charles that Brandon was ready and that he needed to step completely away from the situation. “That boy is going to be a great coach,” Fultz told him.
It was good advice.
His father knew Brandon was ready to be a head coach back in 2000 when he stepped in for him during the Ashland Invitational Tournament. Even though the Raiders lost that night, it was apparent Brandon had what it took to make that move up one seat.
“He had the feel for the game,” Charles said. “I knew who he worked for at Ashland. The nail was in the AIT. It was Dec. 28 when Maria (his daughter) was giving birth to Jodon.”
Brandon Baker is a good coach because of good teachers – and not just his father.
He was recruited by Max Good at Eastern Kentucky University, was an assistant at Lawrence County and Ashland – serving two years under Wayne Breeden and two more under Mike Flynn – and then three on the bench with his father.
“I had some great teachers, no doubt about that, from day one with Dad,” Brandon said. “Max Good recruited me as a high school player. I have great respect for him as a basketball teacher. One of his favorite lines was players are overcoached and undertaught. That has stuck with me to this day.”