Dr. Kiki Baker Barnes leaves Dillard to develop into first Black girl commissioner of Gulf Coast Athletic Convention

Formally named commissioner after greater than two years within the function, Baker Barnes mentioned her “need is to assist extra individuals.”

Dr. Kiki Baker Barnes has served because the athletic director of Dillard College for the previous 16 years, however now, she is shifting on to the following chapter of her profession.

As reported by Nola.com, Baker Barnes is ready to take over as the primary Black girl commissioner of the Gulf Coast Athletic Convention, a Nationwide Affiliation of Intercollegiate Athletics convention made up of traditionally Black faculties and universities. For the previous two and a half years, she has labored within the place on an interim foundation whereas additionally remaining dedicated to Dillard as AD.

Dr. Kiki Baker Barnes, the athletic director at Dillard College for the previous 16 years, is ready to take over as the primary Black girl commissioner of the Gulf Coast Athletic Convention. (Photograph: Fb.com)

Her official naming now makes the Minden-raised former College of New Orleans star athlete considered one of solely 4 Black ladies within the nation in that esteemed place. She already blazed trails as the primary feminine and first Black commissioner of the NAIA, and he or she was the lone feminine athletic director within the state of Louisiana.

“Athletics is the entrance porch of the college,” mentioned Baker Barnes. “We’re going to elevate our establishments and our student-athlete expertise. And we’re going to have time doing it.”

Baker Barnes is brazenly obsessed with inspiring, encouraging, and elevating up the following technology of Black ladies in sports activities. 

“It’s been robust,” she admits. “However however, I used to be made to try this. I’ve been juggling 20 million various things all my life.”

Talking to Sports activities Illustrated earlier this 12 months, Baker Barnes mentioned the mentorship program she began in 2017 — dubbed “So You Need A Profession in Athletics?” — is her “legacy work.”

“It’s my laborious work. It’s my ardour,” she maintained. “Now I’m serving to younger women get linked. It’s about them realizing that it’s attainable. And I really feel like due to my path, I’ve an obligation to make sure they’re conscious of what these alternatives seem like, and the way they will efficiently navigate and obtain their aim in management.”

She additionally defined that her foray into sports activities didn’t begin with basketball.

“Truly, I wished to be a cheerleader initially. I solely tried out for basketball as a result of I wished to be with my buddies. It wasn’t as a result of I had this love or pleasure for basketball,” Barnes recalled. It was by way of “an important coach” named Elliot Gilbert that she got here to like the game. 

“He was simply a tremendous man — and he labored us to loss of life, let me let you know that,” she mentioned of Gilbert. “I discovered the sport of basketball — and I discovered I wished to be actually, actually good. I wound up being a midway respectable participant. I obtained a scholarship!”

She took over as Dillard’s athletic director in 2006, within the wake Hurricane Katrina’s devastation, at a time when participant participation was scarce. After over a decade with the HBCU, Baker Barnes appears to be like again on the milestones of which she is most proud, reminiscent of establishing scholarship endowments and a Corridor of Fame, in addition to the Bleu Satan Basic basketball recreation she hosts annually in opposition to rival Xavier College. 

“I’m most happy with the efforts of the Dillard neighborhood,” she mentioned. “Although I’m the one who acquired awards for the management half, individuals had to purchase into what you’re promoting. The Bleu Satan Basic turned a cultural phenomenon, our highest cash generator and a household affair that everyone appears to be like ahead to. It turned our highest cash generator, serving to us increase funds to honor and join our previous to our current and safe our future.”

Baker Barnes is ready to surrender her function as AD on June 1, in line with the report.  As the brand new GCAC commissioner, Baker Barnes mentioned her “need is to assist extra individuals.”

“It gained’t be simply serving to one HBCU,” she added, “however a convention of HBCUs.”

And he or she’s desperate to be of extra assist to the neighborhood she serves.

“It means I’ve obtained a variety of work to do,” Baker Barnes mentioned. “My aim was by no means to be a trailblazer. I didn’t get up at some point and say I’m going to path blaze. I get up daily and I say I wish to make a distinction. I wish to make an influence, so I all the time ask myself how can I try this with the presents and expertise that I’ve within the place that God has planted me.”

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