Talbot Baker Jr.
1978 - 1999
Talbot "Toby" Baker, Jr. served on the Tabor Academy faculty from 1978-1999 and was instrumental in leading Tabor's sailing program to an elite status of excellence in sailing and sportsmanship. He was the varsity sailing head coach from 1978-1996 and then worked with younger sailors in the 'thirds' program in his final three years. Under his leadership, the Tabor sailing team posted a winning percentage of 0.841 in 18 years (a record of 148-28) and captured many New England and National Championships. Yet, Mr. Baker's legacy is that he was a coach who molded sailors into the prestigious roll of "Tabor Sailors"; individuals that were capable, confident and always ready to navigate life's waters with the respect of others.
Many students came to Tabor with good sailing skills, but Mr. Baker was concerned with teaching student-athletes sportsmanship and respect for others. His values were placed on fostering growth in character, becoming a better person, learning life lessons and pushing oneself to reach their full potential. In his time at Tabor, the Bullivant Trophy (Interscholastic Sailing's National Sportsmanship Award) was presented to a Tabor sailor or team four times. Such an elite trophy that, since its establishment in 1965 to 2016, the Bullivant has only been awarded a total of 14 times. This award is a significant marker of Mr. Baker's coaching legacy. In addition, countless numbers of his past sailors have gone on to become collegiate All-American athletes, Olympic hopefuls and weekend sailors. Mr. Baker is equally proud of all of their accomplishments in business, with families and life in general. He remains, still today, a person his former athletes look to for advice and counsel.
Mr. Baker's Tabor sailing teams achieved 14 team racing titles, including a record 11 in a row (1988-1996). He led Tabor to eight New England Fleet Racing Championships ('Day Trophy) and four National Fleet Racing Titles (Mallory Trophy), including three in a row (1981, 1982, 1983). In 1989, the Interscholastic Sailing Association (ISSA), the National Governing Body of High School Sailing, established the National Team Racing Championship. By a vote of 12-1, the ISSA elected to name the Championship Trophy after Toby Baker; the one dissenting vote was Mr. Baker. Tabor teams went on to capture the Toby Baker Trophy eight times (1989, 1990, 1991, 1994, 1995, 1997, 2007, 2011).