BALDWIN CITY, Kansas – Baker University athletics announced the hiring of Mark Sheldon to become its newest head women's soccer coach on Wednesday.
Sheldon has led soccer efforts in numerous capacities including head coaching duties at Shawnee Mission West High School as the head girls soccer coach from 1994-2000 and 2004-2006 and served as the head boys and girls soccer coach at Olathe Northwest High School from 2006-2008.
"As director of soccer, it is very exciting to welcome coach Sheldon into the Baker family," said Baker head men's soccer coach, Nate Houser. "His experience within the game at the regional and national level will serve the women's soccer program well. Mark is a teacher, a mentor and a winner. I'm very excited to work with him!"
While at Shawnee Mission West, the Vikings finished as the Kansas 6A State Runner-up twice under his leadership and at Olathe Northwest he led the Ravens to three Kansas 6A State Quarterfinal appearances.
"I am very excited and honored to be provided the opportunity and the privilege to work with the women's soccer program at Baker that has excelled within the Heart of America Athletic Conference as well as nationally at the NAIA level," said Sheldon. "I am looking forward to working with the players, the administration, and the Baker University family to continue to build and grow on the recent successes of the past few years. My hope is to create a program that will sustain the high levels of excellence both on and off the field for years to come that we can all be proud of."
From 2008-2015 the University of Kansas graduate was the Director of Coaching at the Kansas Youth Soccer Association. Within that role he served as the Technical Director & Administrator for the Olympic Development Program.
Since 2015, he has led the efforts of the Kansas Rush Soccer Club as the Director of Operations. Sheldon is also a United States Soccer Federation (USSF) Girls National Training Center Staff member and has a USSF 'A' License.
"Mark has been a leader in the Kansas City soccer community," said Baker director of Athletics, Theresa Yetmar. "His expertise in scouting talent, teaching the game, and mentoring student-athletes made him a natural fit for our women's soccer program. Mark recognizes the winning tradition we have established and will continue to maintain the excellence we expect from our team on and off the pitch."
The Baker women's soccer team had one of its greatest seasons in program history in 2016, as they advanced to its second-ever NAIA Fab Four and ended the year with a program best 17 victories. Its final national ranking of No. 3 in the NAIA Coaches' Top 25 poll was also its highest-ever ranking.