(Posted May 24, 2002)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. - Gala Baker has been named the head women's tennis coach at Juniata College, according to Director of Athletics Larry Bock. She will be responsible for all aspects of the women's tennis program on College Hill and she replaces Ann Houck, who resigned from her post following the 2001 season.

"Gala brings a solid tennis background and great enthusiasm to this position," said Bock. "She takes over a solid program that Anne Houck has successfully built over the last few years and we are very confident that Gala is the right person to continue this progress."

Baker is a graduate of Temple University School of Dental Hygiene in Philadelphia and is a certified tennis official for the United States Tennis Association (USTA). She has worked with the USA Tennis National Junior Tennis League program in the past and most recently did so in Salinas, Calif.

She has been certified as a member of the Professional Tennis Registry, an international tennis teaching organization based on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina and received the associate instructor rating for her efforts.

During her scholastic days, Baker played on the Baumholder American High School tennis team in Baumholder, Germany and she traveled with the squad to compete in West Berlin. She placed second in the girls singles in the United States Dependant Educational System European Area. In addition, her playing career covers many years of competition in women's tennis leagues at the Blair Racquet and Fitness Center in Altoona, Pennsylvania.

Baker is married to Juniata alum Dr. Robert A. Baker '69 and the couple has three daughters.

Baker inherits a squad that Houck helped post an overall record of 22-19 during her three-and-a-half years at the helm. Houck took over the 1998 squad six matches into the season and went 5-3 with the Eagles. In 1999, Juniata registered an impressive 8-5 overall record and a 5-2 mark in the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) Commonwealth League to earn a spot in the conference playoffs for the second time in three seasons.

In 2000, Houck guided the Eagles to a 6-4 overall and 5-2 MAC Commonwealth record, while this past fall, Juniata went 3-7 and 2-5. In addition, under Houck during the 2000 season, the Eagles had their first champion at the MAC Individual Championship (doubles team) since the 1974 campaign.

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Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.