As first reported by ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg and Chris Low on Friday, Southern California’s tight ends coach, John David Baker, is leaving Los Angeles for Oxford to join Lane Kiffin’s staff for the same position. Furthermore, The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman is reporting that Baker will also become the passing game coordinator for the Rebels, a position that former coach Joe Jon Finley held as well.
Baker, who played quarterback at Abilene Christian in Texas, spent one season as an offensive analyst for the Trojans before moving up to tight ends coach. He had joined the program when Graham Harrell was hired as offensive coordinator, as the two are close friends. Before he arrived in California, he was with Harrell in Denton, Tex., working as a offensive quality control analyst at North Texas.
Ole Miss’ newest staff member was named to the fourth annual 30under30 list by 247Sports — highlighting NCAA coaches under the age of 30. Who else made that list? None other than Rebels’ graduate assistant Marquise Watson.
Baker helped USC land two tight ends in the 2021 recruiting class, signing four-star Michael Trigg (No. 68 overall player) and three-star Lake McRee. He has a reputation in the business as a very good recruiter and, as one source put it, “people and players love him.”
He played quarterback for four seasons (2010-13) at Abilene Christian where he started as a senior, throwing for 3,376 yards and 35 touchdowns. At the time of his graduation, his 40 career touchdowns was a school record.