The Student News Site of Baker University

The Baker Orange

New coach hopes to be an ace for tennis program

Head+tennis+coach+Keith+Pipkin+watches+a+match+Oct.+7+against+William+Jewell+College.+Pipkin+is+in+his+first+year+at+Baker.+Image+by+Jenna+Black.
Head tennis coach Keith Pipkin watches a match Oct. 7 against William Jewell College. Pipkin is in his first year at Baker. Image by Jenna Black.

Head tennis coach Keith Pipkin watches a match Oct. 7 against William Jewell College. Pipkin is in his first year at Baker. Image by Jenna Black.

Jenna Black

Jenna Black

Head tennis coach Keith Pipkin watches a match Oct. 7 against William Jewell College. Pipkin is in his first year at Baker. Image by Jenna Black.

Story by Alex Fortuna, Photographer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Baker University has turned to a recent alumnus to lead the tennis program. Keith Pipkin, who graduated from Baker in 2011, is the new coach for both the men’s and women’s tennis teams.

As an undergraduate, Pipkin first played at Johnson County Community College before joining the Baker tennis team. After graduation, he was an assistant coach under Joe Ahmadian before becoming head coach for the boys’ team at Baldwin High School.

In 2015-2016 Pipkin was the head coach for both girls and boys at his alma mater, Lawrence Free State High School. While at Free State, Pipkin led four girls and five boys to the state tournament, producing the best girls’ tennis season in school history. Four of the five boys placed at the state level.

Now Pipkin is set to lead the Wildcats.

“I literally could not be happier to be coaching 20 minutes from where I live and grew up,” Pipkin said.

When asked about what improvements he hopes to bring to the Baker tennis program, Pipkin said, “The big thing I came focused on was mental toughness. You got to be able to play throughout a match. To be a year-round player, you need mental toughness to get through it.”

Current BU players have now had a chance to attend practices and compete in fall matches under their new coach.

“My first impression of Keith (Pipkin) this year when he introduced himself as our head coach was that he had a lot of energy and enthusiasm,” senior Jamie Myers said. “I could tell that he has big goals and big plans ready for our team to accomplish.”

Some players had initial doubts about how Pipkin would adjust and find time for both the men’s and women’s teams.

“He finds the right balance between both the men and women. We all practice at the same time,” sophomore Elliott Wiskirchen, who is a transfer from Northwest Missouri State University, said. “In the beginning many of us were questionable about practicing all at the same time due to our lack of courts, but he made it work.”

Players are optimistic about the BU tennis program.

“I think coach Pipkin has the right amount of energy, knowledge and creativity to be a really fun and great coach,” Myers said “I’m excited to see where the future takes the tennis teams after I graduate. I have a pretty good feeling Baker tennis is going to do some really awesome things after Keith has more experience as a collegiate tennis coach.”

Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • New coach hopes to be an ace for tennis program

    Spirit Squad

    Baker cheer spans three generations for graduating senior

  • New coach hopes to be an ace for tennis program

    Softball

    Softball season ends in Heart Tourney

  • New coach hopes to be an ace for tennis program

    Golf

    Women’s golf ready for Heart Tourney

  • New coach hopes to be an ace for tennis program

    Baseball

    ‘Cats host Senior day and Strike Out Sarcoma

  • New coach hopes to be an ace for tennis program

    Softball

    Brees sets school record for strikeouts

  • New coach hopes to be an ace for tennis program

    Sports

    Track and field teams take on Tabor and Kansas Relays

  • New coach hopes to be an ace for tennis program

    Baseball

    Baseball loses home series against No. 5 CMU

  • New coach hopes to be an ace for tennis program

    Softball

    Softball team falls below .500

  • Sports

    Track and field teams compete at Midwest Quad

  • Softball

    Softball earns five wins over extended weekend

The Student News Site of Baker University
New coach hopes to be an ace for tennis program