Although high school sports face an uncertain immediate future, Ken Baker will hit the ground running when he takes over as commissioner of the Ohio Capital Conference on June 1.
“It’s a large group of people I’m going to be dealing with, and one of the first challenges I face is how we’re going to hold meetings and do business in the age of the coronavirus,” said Baker, 64, who will retire June 30 after serving the past seven years as executive director of the Ohio Association of Secondary School Administrators.
He will take over for Dave Cecutti, who stepped down after 13 years on the job.
“While, technically, the commissioner job is a part-time position, I hate to refer to it as a retirement job,” Baker said. “There’s going to be a lot to do, especially with athletics in a holding pattern. I’m going to be working closely with principals and athletic directors in preparation for a lot of different scenarios. We’re just keeping our fingers crossed that we will have a fall season.”
Having worked as a superintendent, principal, athletic director, teacher and coach during his 42 years in education, Baker is well-versed in communicating with a wide range of people.
With 32 schools, the OCC is one of the largest athletic conferences in the Midwest. Baker will take over when a new divisional alignment is set to go into effect next fall.
“In my job now with the OASAA, I work in close conjunction with (Ohio High School Athletic Association executive director) Jerry Snodgrass as well as some of the administrators in the OCC,” Baker said. “I know a lot of people, and I’m looking forward to building relationships with a lot more.
“One of the first things I need to do in June is have conversations with our ADs and principals to see if there are things they’d like to see changed in the way we go about things. I know we need to establish more technology in terms of a website and Twitter, and that’s something I had to do at the OASAA, too. I also need to talk with Dave Cecutti, who has done a wonderful job with reorganization, expansions and scheduling. His expertise is valuable to me.”
A graduate of Findlay High School and Miami University, Baker has worked at numerous schools throughout Ohio. At some smaller schools, he was an administrator, teacher and coach simultaneously.
“I look at this position as more of an opportunity than a challenge,” he said. “I’ve worn a lot of hats as an educator, and I have a great respect for the roles of all the folks I’ll be working with.”