Kansas State Adds Baier as Strength & Conditioning Coach
Baier arrives at K-State after spending the last three seasons (2019-22) as the strength and conditioning coach at Miami (Fla.) working for head coach Jim Larrańaga. He has nine years of experience working specifically with men’s basketball teams, including full-time stints at Arkansas State (2015-17), North Texas (2017-19), and Miami. He has been a part of four 20-win seasons, a run to the Elite Eight in 2022, and a CBI Championship in 2018.“I couldn’t be more excited to welcome Phil and his fiancée, Jenna, to K-State,” said Tang. “A strength coach interacts with your players more than just about any person, so it was important to me to get one of the best in the country and I feel Phil fits that description. I got to know him when he worked with (assistant coach) Jareem (Dowling) and Coach (Grant) McCasland at North Texas and I just love how he develops players. He has great energy and fire and I know that he will play a pivotal role in making our players the best they can be both on and off the court. I can’t wait for the community to get to know him, along with the rest of the staff.”
Baier is the fifth announced member of Tang’s inaugural coaching staff at K-State, joining associate head coach Ulric Maligi, assistant coach Jareem Dowling, Chief of Staff Marco Borne, and Director of Player Development Austin Carpenter.
During his three-year stint at Miami, Baier helped build a Hurricane program that recently advanced to the Elite Eight for the first time in 2021-22 while posting the third-highest win total (26) in program history. The Hurricanes won 10 of their last 14 games, including victories over USC, top-seeded Auburn, and Iowa State to advance to their first-ever Elite Eight, before bowing out to eventual national champion Kansas in the Midwest Regional Final. They finished tied for 16th in the final Ferris Mowers Coaches poll, which was the fourth-highest finish in history.
“I am thrilled to join Coach Tang and his staff at K-State,” said Baier. “Building a team of tough, appreciative, and passionate players is what this staff is going to do, and I cannot wait to give my contribution to that process. My fiancée Jenna, our dogs, Atlas and Ross, and I are overjoyed to be moving to Manhattan to be a part K-State community. In terms of the opportunity to coach alongside this staff for this program, grateful would be an understatement. I promise to bring it every day to ensure these players are physically and mentally prepared to compete for championships every year!”
This past season, three Hurricanes earned All-ACC honors, including senior guard Kameron McGusty becoming just the third First Team selection in school history and the first since 2013. Sophomore guard Isaiah Wong earned Third Team recognition for the second straight season in 2021-22, while senior guard Charlie Moore was selected both Honorable Mention All-ACC as well as to the All-Defensive Team. All told, four Hurricane players combined to earn five All-ACC accolades during Baier’s time in Coral Gables.
Baier joined the Miami staff after a two-year stint (2017-19) at North Texas, where he worked with the Mean Green men’s basketball and women’s volleyball teams. Each program enjoyed tremendous success under Baier’s guidance, as the men’s basketball team reached the 20-win mark in both seasons, collecting 41 total victories and the 2018 CBI Championship, while the volleyball team won 48 matches, including a 29-4 campaign in 2017 that feature a Conference USA regular-season title.
Baier joined the staff at Arkansas State in 2015, spending two seasons (2015-17) working with the Red Wolves’ men’s basketball, men’s and women’s track and field, cheerleading, and dance squads, along with assisting with the football team. He helped develop teams that won three Sun Belt titles, including a pair in football (2015, 2016) and one in men’s outdoor track and field (2016), while the men’s basketball team made the second-best turnaround in Division I in 2016-17 with a 10-win improvement to post the school’s first 20-win season since 1997-98.