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Bert Baker

Man with silver hair wearing a blazer

Bert Baker

A longtime physical education teacher, coach and athletic director at South High, Bert Baker started his teaching career in South Glens Falls in 1962 and retired in 1984. A Brooklyn, N.Y. native, coach Baker grew up in Pearl River, Rockland County, and was a three-sport standout athlete in high school before attending Cortland State. He played football for four years and lacrosse for three years there, and graduated in 1951.

After marrying Sally in March 1951, Coach Baker entered the United States Marine Corps in May 1951 as a commissioned second lieutenant, and served as a tank platoon commander in Korea in 1952 and 1953, and later as a leader of basic training in Quantico, Virginia until his discharge in 1954.

Bert started his teaching and coaching career at his alma mater, Pearl River Schools, in 1954, where he coached the football, basketball and baseball teams to numerous league and county championships.

He and Sally and their three children Bruce, Steve and Patty, moved to South Glens Falls in 1962. Coach Baker was a physical education teacher in the Harrison Avenue, Moreau and Tanglewood Elementary Schools from 1962 to 1970, and became athletic director in 1966. He served as AD until 1974.

From 1970 to 1984, he was a PE teacher in the junior and senior high schools, and coached the varsity football team for 15 seasons, from 1962 to 1976. He was 55-57-2 during that span, coaching the Bulldogs to six second-place finishes in the Foothills Council. He also coached the JV basketball team from 1962 to 1972, earning a title tie with St. Mary’s Academy along with one Foothills Council championship

Coach Baker, now 84 years old, chaired the Foothills Council for 11 years, and was league secretary for one year.

Bert and Sally live in South Carolina, and have three children — Bruce, Steve and Patty — along with seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild.