Dr. Rich Bakker has been named as the Faculty Athletics Representative beginning with the 2012-13 academic year. The faculty athletics representative is a member of the institution’s faculty or administrative staff who is designated to represent the institution and its faculty in the institution’s relationships with the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Conference).
Dr. Bakker currently serves as a professor in the Kean University Department of Physical Education, Recreation and Health. Bakker served as the department chair from 1999-2013.
He has earned several awards and honors for his work in the field. His alma mater, Montclair State University, tabbed him with the Award of Honor in 1994. This award is given to an alumnus of the Physical Education Department who has distinguished him/herself throughout their educational career. During the spring of 2005, he was garnered with the Presidential Excellence Award at Kean for distinguished service by a faculty member. While in 2006, he was named the Higher Education Physical Education Teacher of the Year as presented by the New Jersey Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.
Dr. Bakker is also a member of the Governor’s Task Force on steroid use and prevention, an appointment made in 2005.
He is no stranger to the department of athletics after he devoted more than 11 years of his life to coaching. Dr. Bakker served as the head baseball coach from 1970 to 1972 and again from 1976 to 1983 and had a .547 winning percentage in his 11 seasons.
In 1981, his squad captured the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III Championship. His 1983 team finished with a record of 20-10, marking the first 20-win season in program history, while winning the ECAC Division III Championship. Bakker coached three All-Americans and numerous all-conference and regional all stars during his tenure. He also served as the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional chair and NCAA National Baseball Committee member from 1982 to 1988.
He received his bachelor's degree from Montclair State College (now University) in 1967, his master's degree from Southern Illinois in 1968 and his doctorate from New York University in 1982.