EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – After leading UTEP to its best season in seven years in 2022-23, women’s basketball coach Kevin Baker resigned on Wednesday after six seasons.

Baker was named the Conference USA co-Coach of the Year after the 2022-23 season, which ended with a 20-12 record and a trip to the WNIT. Baker was 93-85, including a 51-55 mark in C-USA games during his tenure.

“After careful consideration of a generous extension offer from UTEP and weighing my options moving forward, I have decided to end my tenure with the Miners,” Baker said. “This has been a tough decision for me, but I think the time is right for me to move on to the next chapter of my life, spend more time near family, and begin searching for a new career path.”

Baker’s resignation comes with one year remaining on his contract, which was extended after the 2020-21 season through 2023-24. He was to be paid $249,000 in the final year of that deal.

However, he will not owe UTEP any form of payment as a buyout, because he did not accept another coaching job, according to a UTEP official.

The 93 victories ranks Baker third in program history. The Miners advanced in the C-USA Tournament in all but one season under his leadership and reached the tournament semifinals in 2021 and 2023.

“We are so grateful to coach Baker for all of his hard work over the last six years,” UTEP Director of Athletics Jim Senter said. “He built a program that competed at a high level in Conference USA, culminating in this year’s 20-win season. His teams have been fun to watch, and he has been the consummate team player off the court. We wish him the very best as he embarks on the next chapter of a successful career.”

He arrived in El Paso from Angelo State University, where he posted a combined record of 50-14 in two seasons (2015-17). Baker was also the head coach at the University of Texas at Tyler from 2012-15, fashioning a 72-16 mark. 

Baker coached five players who earned All-Conference USA recognition at UTEP – Tamara Seda (2018), Katarina Zec (2020), Katia Gallegos (2021 & 2022), Destiny Thurman (2022) and Jazion Jackson (2023). In addition, the Miners’ Elina Arike was named the C-USA Defensive Player of the Year this season.  

“I am also very proud that we did things the right way at UTEP. We followed the rules of NCAA compliance, won basketball games, chased championships, built positive relationships with players, and graduated our student athletes,” Baker said.

UTEP will now begin a search for a new head coach. With much of the roster potentially able to come back in 2023-24, whoever gets the job could have a shot at competing in Conference USA next season.