Price and Payne receive honors


Jenna Black

Head dance coach Lynsey Payne instructs dancers during a preseason practice inside Mabee Gym August 14.

Story by Jenna Black, Photo Editor

The Baker Athletics department has been recognized within the Heart of America Athletic Conference for its accomplishments. Sports Information Director Tyler Price was selected as the David Fillmore Sports Information Director of the Year. Head Dance Coach Lynsey Payne was named the 2016-17 Heart of America Athletic Conference Coach of Character.

Sports Information Directors within the Heart voted Price to be the recipient of this fourth annual prestigious award. Along with the honor, Price will represent the Heart in voting for the NAIA Sports Information Director of the Year. Price’s efforts have been recognized for numerous other awards during his five years at Baker University. Price has previously been the recipient of a first-place finish in the 2014 NAIA-SIDA In-House Website contest and 14 NAIA-SIDA Top 10 in the Nation awards for his relentless work.

Tim Byers, head men and women’s cross country coach, has worked alongside Price during their time at Park University, as well as at Baker University.

“I have enjoyed working alongside Tyler for several years now. He is one the best SID’s in our conference and the country,” Byers said.

With the help of the dance team’s history making 2016-17 season and efforts that focus on volunteering, Payne was able to achieve the Heart of America Athletic Conference Coach of Character Award. The competitive dance team competed in the NAIA Competitive Dance National Championships in Oklahoma City, where the team placed third. The team was the recipient of the 2017 Buffalo Funds Five Star Champions of Character Team Award, making them the only NAIA team to receive this award and the first in Baker Athletics history.

The team’s volunteer efforts included serving dinner and gathering clothing for homeless shelters, helping with a daddy-daughter dance sponsored by Lawrence Parks and Recreation, volunteering for Baker’s blood drive and more.

Michaela Jamison has danced for Payne during her career at Baker and is a former co-captain of the team.

“I am honored to have been coached by her [Payne]. She’s taught me so much more than dance. She taught be how to be a leader, how to persevere and how to channel your passion into results,” Jamison said. “Baker University is lucky to have her and this dance program owes our success to her.”

As Price and Payne prepare for the 2017-18 school year, they continue to shape and strengthen Baker Athletics through their unyielding work ethic and dedication to the university and its athletes.