LEXINGTON, Ky. – Rachel Newman Baker, who serves as the NCAA managing director of enforcement for development and investigations, has been named the senior associate athletics director for compliance at the University of Kentucky, UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart announced Tuesday. She will officially begin her duties on July 8, 2013.
“As college athletics continues to change, it is important that we support and protect our coaches, student-athletes and program at the highest level. Rachel brings a wealth of experience on a national level and a fondness to return home to Kentucky. We are excited to have her, Brandon and their girls join our family,” Barnhart said. “To have Rachel work with one of the most respected compliance directors in the country in Sandy Bell gives the University of Kentucky great confidence as we move into these challenging times in college athletics.”
Newman Baker will report to Bell, executive associate athletics director for student services, and serve as the liaison between the athletics compliance office and the UK football and marketing offices. She will supervise the assistant athletics director for academics and assistant athletics director for compliance as direct reports. Newman Baker will also assist Bell with daily compliance administration.
“I have had the privilege of knowing and working with Rachel in her capacities at the national office for over a decade,” Bell said. “Her commitment to resolving issues in a manner that was in the best interests of the membership, the institution and the student-athlete has always impressed me. She brings a great deal of global perspective and knowledge to this position in particular and to the university as a whole. As my responsibilities have increased to encompass the area of student services at UK and the world of compliance has become more complex and demanding, the need to expand our staff was evident. Rachel will be a very valuable asset to add to an already excellent compliance staff.”
Newman Baker will represent the University of Kentucky athletics department at all Southeastern Conference and NCAA compliance meetings and workshops. She will also be responsible for developing and maintaining oversight of UK’s department-wide agent registration and education program.
"Over the past 12 years at the NCAA, I'm proud of the work we did to promote student-athlete well-being while upholding the integrity of college athletics," Newman Baker said. “I'm looking forward to applying my skills and knowledge in my new role at the University of Kentucky under the leadership of Mitch Barnhart and Sandy Bell. I have the utmost respect for the standards of excellence by which they and their staff operate the UK athletics program. My family and I are excited to return to our home state and I can't wait to be back on a college campus alongside the student-athletes, coaches and administrators."
Prior to her promotion to managing director in August 2011, Newman Baker was the NCAA director of agent, gambling and amateurism activities from 2005-11. She began her time with the NCAA as an intern in enforcement services in 2001. In 2002, Newman Baker became an assistant director in AGA and held that position until accepting the director position in 2005.
As part of her duties as managing director, Newman Baker oversaw approximately 30 staff members and managed the staff in development, investigation and processing of infractions cases. She was also responsible for ensuring that the enforcement staff had an established area dedicated to the development of knowledge, contacts, and actionable leads in the sports of football and basketball, as well as agent issues in the sports of baseball, men’s ice hockey, and track and field. She also oversaw the basketball certification, scouting services approval, officials’ background checks approval, and sports wagering programs.
During her tenure as director of AGA, Newman Baker was responsible for all activities associated with post enrollment agent, gambling, amateurism issues, including, but not limited to, investigations, the cultivation of relationships with external constituents, educational awareness and the development and communication of legislation. She also served as the primary liaison to the NCAA Division I Amateurism Cabinet and as liaison to the Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct Committee.
“Over the years, Rachel has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the values and beliefs of the NCAA,” NCAA Interim Vice President of Enforcement Jonathan Duncan said. “She has served member institutions and student-athletes with excellence and she will be a great asset to the entire university community. We will miss Rachel, but we wish her the very best as she returns to the state she loves.”
Newman Baker is originally from Berea, Ky., and was a former women’s basketball student-athlete at Berea College where she earned a bachelor's degree in sociology in 1999. Upon graduation, Newman Baker enrolled at The Ohio State University and received her master's degree in sports administration in 2001. While at Ohio State, Newman Baker was a graduate assistant in the athletics compliance office.
She and her husband, Brandon, have two daughters, Kate and Riley.