Harrison Baker ’14 Returns to Marist as Associate Athletics Director and Director of External Affairs
After two years at Tulane, a Red Fox comes home.
August 21, 2020—Growing up in the Hudson Valley, Harrison Baker ’14 took a twisty road to come to at Marist College. An adult transfer student, Baker went on to graduate from Marist and serve as Assistant Sports Information Director and Social Media Coordinator for the Red Foxes (2014-2018). This month he is rejoining the Marist community as the second in command to Athletic Director Tim Murray as Associate Athletic Director and Director of External Affairs, a position through which he hopes to guide and develop Marist Athletics further.
Baker graduated from the Newburgh Free Academy in 2005, and attended various institutions eventually leading to his time as a Red Fox in 2011. Baker began his education at Marist as an adult student commuting to campus multiple times a week, resulting in a fruitful education and career as a Red Fox.
“I’m really excited to return. The Hudson Valley is a beautiful place. I’m super excited to come home,” Baker said. Following his graduation in 2014, the former Athletics intern took a full-time position where he was able to expand his knowledge and capabilities.
“My first two years working at Marist, I managed a lot of different things. Photography, graphic design, social media, and kind of built up my skill-set,” Baker said.
During his time in the sports communication program as an undergraduate, Baker was able to develop his skill-set and widen his area of experience before graduating. “I wanted to expand my base so as soon as I left I could jump in anywhere and do anything,” Baker said. Baker gained ample experience through ESPN’s The Classroom, a podcast previously run by the Marist Sports Communication Program. Baker held the position of researcher and producer on that program, and also served as an intern in the Athletics during his senior year.
Journey Back to the Red Foxes
He credits the Marist Sports Communication Program for preparing him to succeed professionally in the collegiate sports industry. “It was a fantastic sports comm program, I can’t imagine having gone anywhere else and having a better experience,” Baker said.
After four years with the Red Foxes as Social Media Coordinator and Assistant Sports Information Director, in 2018 Harrison relocated to New Orleans with his wife, Amy, and his now three-year-old daughter, Charlotte. He accepted a position in the Athletics department at Tulane University and started a new role as Associate Director of Graphic Design and Digital Strategy.
Being able to focus primarily on graphic design and social media at Tulane, Baker was able to gain a stronger administrative sense of athletics communications. Stepping away from traveling with teams allowed him to focus on brand control and development. “[Tulane] allowed me to learn a little bit more about my graphic design skill-set and my ability to lead a social media team,” Baker said.
Returning to Marist, Baker plans to establish himself as the creative mind behind branding and communications in Athletics. “I want to be the creative director of our look and our brand going forward. It’s just one part of my job, but it’s one that I’m excited about,” Baker said.
Other Roles in the Campus Community
During Baker’s last year as a Red Fox, he was invited to be a member of the Diversity Council, a campus committee that focuses on diversity, inclusion, and equity from an administrative level. “The Council was a great group of people that I respected from all across campus, people that have everyone’s best wishes and intentions in mind.”
Baker emphasized his desire to make sure the community he has been a part of for so long, a welcoming place for all students. He wants to make students' experiences, whether athletes or not, are the same he had as a student and staff member. “I want to make sure that everyone that steps on this campus has the same experience I did and the same opportunities I did. Whatever I can do to help that, I’m going to do point-blank,” Baker said.
One way he can implement meaningful change and build off the immense work that has been done is picking up right where he left off and bringing his perspective to the conversation. “I would absolutely love to be back onto that Diversity Council. I feel like I have a lot to offer as a mixed-race person.”
Returning to the Hudson Valley to be near family and return to his alma mater in a new role has raised a lot of emotions for Baker. “The path I’m on is humbling. I’m excited to keep this ball rolling in such a difficult time,” Baker said. “I want to hit the ground running.” He’s eager to expand the College’s brand recognition even further. “We want to be recognizable wherever we go, we want people to see the Red Fox and be like, ‘Oh, that’s Marist.’”