Baker resigns as Mid-South commissioner

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LOUISVILLE — Steve Baker has resigned as Mid-South Conference commissioner, conference officials announced on Monday.

An immediate search for Baker’s successor is under way.

“On behalf of the Mid-South Conference Council of Presidents, we appreciate Steve Baker’s services and the contributions he made to the conference, our student-athletes and respective institutions,” said Dr. James L. Hurley, University of Pikeville president and chair of the council of presidents.

University of the Cumberlands Athletic Director Randy Vernon will serve as interim MSC commissioner until a replacement for Baker is named.

Baker joined the Mid-South Conference July 1, 2010, and led its expansion to 11 full-time members -- the most in conference history -- in the 2011-12 academic year. The Mid-South currently has 10 full-time members and six associate members.

During Baker’s tenure, the Mid-South Conference partnered with the City of Frankfort and the NAIA to bring the Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament to Frankfort, Ky. He also led the charge for a new branding campaign that resulted in a new conference logo and a redesign of conference’s website.

The Mid-South Conference was formed in 1995 to serve as the competitive base for the institutions’ athletic programs. The move effectively merged the athletic pursuits of similar institutions. The conference is unique in its broad-based athletic competition for men and women, offering championships in 20 sports.