Baker Alumnus Mark Gastelum returns as coach

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Baker Alumnus Mark Gastelum returns as coach

Story by Kyle Davis

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This article was originally published prior to June 2, 2013. Due to a change in the content management systems, the initial publication date in not available. 

Mark Gastelum returned Friday to Liston Stadium, but he wasn’t wearing the Baldwin High School purple or Baker University orange that he has before.

He was wearing De Soto High School green as an assistant football coach.

This was Gastelum’s first time standing on the visitors’ sideline.

“It was real awkward to see him over there,” Baldwin football head coach Mike Berg said.

Berg said he is very happy for Gastelum and that he has done a great job with De Soto’s offensive and defensive lines.

Baldwin beat De Soto 14-0 in Gastelum’s return, which also happened to be Baldwin’s homecoming game. De Soto has started the season 0-4, losing two of those games by three points each.

Berg coached Gastelum as a player at Baldwin High School and has now coached against him for the first time. The two were able to talk after the game, where Gastelum complimented Berg on the game and Berg told Gastelum how proud he was of him. Berg and Gastelum still keep in touch, and Gastelum helps out almost every summer with Baldwin’s football camp.

Gastelum played football for Baldwin High School, graduating in 2002, then choosing to play college football at Baker. After his senior season at Baldwin, Gastelum didn’t know if he wanted to continue to play football, although he received offers from junior colleges and National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics schools. He played from 2002 to 2005 at Baker as an offensive lineman and started for two of those four years. Gastelum said Berg always spoke well of Baker and was very supportive of anything his players wanted to do.

Baker football head coach Mike Grossner’s first year at Baker was Gastelum’s junior year.

Grossner said Gastelum was a good lineman, adding that Baker signs some of its best players from Baldwin.

Gastelum stayed close to home after leaving Baker, starting his coaching career with the seventh grade Baldwin Junior High football team in 2006. He coached the junior high for two years.

“When I think of Mark, I think of a full-timer,” Berg said.

He said Gastelum never missed anything and was dedicated, which carried over to his coaching.

Gastelum is now in his first season as the offensive and defensive line coach at De Soto.  Gastelum said it’s been his mentors who have helped him succeed, which include De Soto head coach Brad Scott and Berg, who are also Baker graduates.

“I had great coaches,” Gastelum said. “Through all of them I learned about how to be a good coach.”

Gastelum said he thinks it would be fun to coach with Berg again.

“I hope he knows our door is always open,” Berg said.