SOUTHFIELD, Mich. -- The Lawrence Technological (Mich.) University athletic department is pleased to announce Karen Baird as the second head coach in the Blue Devils short softball history.
"Karen brings a wealth of experience to a program that just began over a year ago," LTU Athletic Director Scott Trudeau said. "With over 13 years of experience at the NCAA level and her commitment to academic excellence, Karen will fit in with the culture we are trying to create here at Lawrence Tech. She is driven by academics while giving the student-athletes a great experience on the field."
Baird spent last season as assistant coach at Oakland (Mich.) University and brings over 16 years of head coaching experience to the Lawrence Tech softball program. At Oakland, she coached a horizon league co-freshman of the year, two first team, and three second team honorees.
In Baird's 11 years at Eastern Michigan University (2002-2013), her teams consistently ranked nationally in Division I top-10 in GPA including first in 2004 (3.55), third-2007 (3.52), sixth-2005 (3.46), eighth-2006 (3.41) and ninth-2012 (3.55). She also led the team to a Mid-American Conference (MAC) West Division title and first ever MAC tournament title and NCAA Tournament berth in 2007 and was named MAC Coach of the Year. During her time at Eastern, Baird coached a Third Team CoSIDA Academic All-America, 15 First Team All-MAC players, 12 Second Team All-MAC players, and a Third Team All-American.
Prior to her tenure at EMU, Baird spent five years as the head softball coach, head golf coach and Intramural Director. As the head softball coach at Albion (1998-2002) guiding the Britons to three consecutive Michigan Intercollegiate (MIAA) Tournament appearances including a championship in 2001. Albion was the No. 1 team in GPA for all of NCAA Division III in 2000. Baird coached seven First Team All-MIAA players, eight Second Team All-MIAA players, and ranked in the Top Five nationally in team GPA in NCAA Division III four out of her five years at Albion.
Baird is not limited to coaching just softball, she was also the Britons women's golf coach from 1997-2002 where she had her team ranked in the Top 10 in 1999 and coached a NCAA DIII Golf Championship Qualifier, a first for Albion.
Baird earned a Master of Arts degree in Sports Administration from Wayne State University in 2000. She was a three-time MIAA softball all-league selection and league MVP in 1993 at Adrian College earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Health and Physical Education and Recreation in 1994.
Baird officially begins her duties as LTU head coach on July 31.
"I am extremely excited for the opportunity to be the next softball coach at Lawrence Tech and continue their successes from the inaugural season," said Baird. "I would like to thank Scott and the search committee for this great opportunity of leading LTU softball and I look forward to working with our student-athletes on and off the field in their pursuit of excellence."
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