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Alabama adds Michigan high school coach to staff

Nate Oats has hired another one of his former Romulus High assistants.

Josh Baker, who had been the head coach at Southfield Christian School in Michigan since 2011, is joining the Alabama staff, it was announced Tuesday.

Baker told MLive.com he’s expecting to be special assistant to the head coach.

Under Baker, Southfield Christian was 181-30 over the last eight seasons, had a 97-1 conference record and won five state titles.

Like Baker, new Crimson Tide assistant Charlie Henry also worked under Oats at Romulus High.
 

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Josh Baker exits Southfield Christian basketball for NCAA job at Alabama

Josh Baker and Nate Oats are back together again.

On Tuesday morning, Southfield Christian High School posted an announcement that revealed Baker is leaving his position as head coach of the boys basketball program to join the men’s basketball staff at the University of Alabama. Baker confirmed the announcement in a phone call with MLive.

Alabama recently hired Nate Oats, a good friend of Baker’s from their days coaching together at Romulus High School in southeast Michigan.

“It’s just a dream come true,” Baker said.

Baker led the Southfield Christian basketball program to four state title as a head coach and another as an assistant since joining the school for the 2011-12 season. Most recently, Baker led Southfield Christian to a state title in each of the last two seasons, winning the Division 4 championship back in March. For 10 seasons prior to his Southfield Christian stint, Baker was an assistant on Oats’ staff at Romulus High School.

Baker expressed abundant excitement about rejoining Oats, this time at the collegiate level. Also joining Baker and Oats at Alabama is Charlie Henry, an assistant coach from Romulus from 2009-10. Henry joins the Alabama staff after numerous assistant positions spanning the collegiate and pro level. Most recently, Henry was head coach of the Windy City Bulls, the NBA G-League affiliate to the Chicago Bulls.

“Hopefully I can bring some value too and I’m thrilled to learn from him and then Charlie Henry too, ” Baker said. “I’ll be able to learn from both of them and just pick their brains and learn everything I possibly can.”

Baker is expecting to start on Alabama’s staff as a special assistant to the head coach on May 13.

Baker and Oats began their friendship as students at Maranatha Baptist Bible College in Watertown, Wisconsin. When Oats landed his teaching and coaching job at Romulus, he asked Baker to join his staff. Baker accepted the offer and even lived Oats’ basement for the first six months.

After Baker left for Southfield Christian, the two remained close friends and they each won a state title together in 2013 at the Breslin Center. That state championship was the last high school game for Oats as he went on to join the University of Buffalo staff. By his third season in Buffalo, Oats had already claimed the head coach position.

Baker made his visit to Alabama shortly after Oats was hired and was glad to see that Oats’ way of operations still remained as they had since the days at Romulus. Baker knew that it was meant to be.

“I’m telling you, they were identical to what we did at Romulus,” Baker said. “That’s really special. I sent the first day’s practice plan up to our staff at Southfield Christian because every single drill was the same. That’s really special for me, just knowing his system. I don’t think I could step into any other college program like that and know the system. There’s no way.”

Baker said he broke the news to his Southfield Christian players in a meeting last Friday. At the meeting, Baker discussed ordering the state championship rings when he broke the news.

“They knew all about Nate and I just told them that he had an opening and we were going to take it,” Baker said. “They were pretty excited and happy. They hugged me and they got together and said a word of prayer for me. They just said congrats.”

Baker said his assistant Clennie Brundidge will take over the head coach position for Southfield Christian. Brundidge took over as an interim head coach for the 2013-14 season when Baker stepped away for family reasons, leading the Eagles to a third-straight Class D title.

“It will not be much of a transition,” Baker said of Brundidge taking over. “We’ve done this for seven years. Every drill, we decided together. Every practice plan, every gameplan, every scout, that’s us deciding together.”

Baker mentioned how special the Southfield Christian community was toward him when he stepped down for the 2013-14 season. During that time, Baker and his wife welcomed twin boys, Max and Quinn, into the world but they were born prematurely, with one suffering a collapsed lung. Considering Baker had three other children -- including another set of twins -- under the age of three at that time, he had to step away to take care of his family.

“What the community did for us -- with cards, with gifts -- just taking care of things for me and my kids ... people did that all year long,” Baker said. “They wrote us cards and stopped in and dropped off clothes. Obviously, coach (Brundidge) did an incredible job with our team that year. Throughout my time there, people have helped us in every aspect of life. It’s truly been a family.”

With his twins ending up gaining full health, Baker stepped back into his head position and remained there since. With his oldest son now seven years old, his first set of twins six years old, and his youngest boys now five, Oats is looking forward to starting a new chapter for his family in Alabama.

“I’m excited to see them running around in some Crimson Tide gear and my little girls in their braids running around down there on the football field,” Baker said. “I’m excited.”
 

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Is that suppose to imply that Watford is a goner?
 

TerryP

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Is that suppose to imply that Watford is a goner?
We're getting close to 24 hours since that was tweeted and I still wonder what's going on.

Troll? Yes.
Toughting 247's Crystal Ball's for Trendon? I don't know. I think it was @#80 who posted Memphis led in that particular webisode over on 247.
Is it a little on the stupid side? Yes. No, make that firmly on the stupid side.
 

Sgt. Lincoln Osiris

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So I see with Kennesaw hiring that UGAy assistant, Pett is staying? Or is he still job shopping?

Reason I ask is because folks have been stressing the importance of keeping an Alabama "native" on staff for in-state recruiting purposes.

But what's wrong with adding another coach from somewhere like Michigan? Lots of great HS talent comes out of that state. Byrne and even Oats eluded to regional preference not being an issue, that we need to broaden our recruiting base outside of Alabama and Mississippi.
 

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