RALEIGH, N.C. -- William Peace University Athletics is proud to name Rachael James-Baker as the Pacers' new Head Men's and Women's Tennis Coach. James-Baker served as WPU's Assistant Tennis Coach during the 2018-19 season where the Pacers displayed new successes on the court.
"First of all, I would like to thank so many people starting with President Brian Ralph and Athletic Director Tom Curle for this great opportunity to join the William Peace family and lead the men's and women's tennis program. Secondly, I would also like to express my gratitude to all of the people who guided and supported me on my wonderful tennis journey. My junior coaches Dennis Royal, Michael Henderson, David Gill and Johnnie Brown all helped me develop during every stage of my junior tennis career. I also want to thank my college coaches Hans Olsen (North Carolina State) and Brian Kalbas (UNC- Chapel Hill) for giving me the opportunity to grow as a player and person in the ACC. I am eager to help address every aspect of the William Peace tennis program. I am very confident that I can contribute to the full development of every WPU tennis player on the tennis court and in the classroom."
Coach James-Baker comes to WPU with a decorated background that includes having played for North Carolina State University, Baylor University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
"We are thrilled that Rachael has accepted the responsibility to be our Head Women's and Men's Tennis Coach," shared Phil Rowe, Executive Director of Athletic Strategy and Special Projects. "Rachael has worked very hard this past year with Coach Anzenberger to set the table for our tennis program to take a step forward. Her passion and drive to build the programs will benefit our current women and men as well as future Pacer tennis players. We are confident that our tennis programs are going to have a very bright future under Rachael's leadership."
While a member of the Wolfpack, James-Baker recorded the third-most singles wins on the team with 17, having won five of those at the No. 3 spot and amassing an 8-4 record at the No. 4 spot as a freshman. As a sophomore at NC State, James-Baker played all of her 22 dual singles matches from the No. 2 spot. Here, James-Baker held a team-high number of wins in dual singles (13) on the season and defeated three ranked opponents.
James-Baker took a stop inside the Big 12 for her junior season, transferring to Baylor University. She played in tournaments as the country's 117th-ranked player. With the Bears she went 5-1 in singles play.
Coach James-Baker finished her career back in the Tar Heel State at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. With the Heels, she held records of 12-9 in singles and 21-11 in doubles in the 2016-2017 season. In her last collegiate season she picked up a win against Furman in doubles in the NCAA Regionals. She was a part of a UNC team that finished with an overall record of 33-3, was ACC Champions, and ended their season falling to Stanford in the NCAA Quarterfinals.
"Rachael has been very successful in every facet of collegiate tennis," shared Brian Kalbas, Head Tennis Coach at UNC Chapel Hill. "She had a very successful playing career and through her hard work and dedication, will be a successful head coach. William Peace University and their athletic department is very fortunate to have Rachael leading the tennis programs."
Coach James-Baker finished her undergraduate career at UNC Chapel Hill with a degree in Political Science and Journalism. In her spare time, Coach James-Baker enjoys competing in local tennis tournaments and the WTA circuit.
Release courtesy of the William Peace sports information department.