James Baer joined the Northwood University baseball coaching staff in the winter of 2018. Baer works with the outfielders while assisting with the catchers and the hitters.
In his first three seasons at Northwood, NU has gone 67-48 overall. The Timberwolves have reached the NCAA Regionals in each of the two full seasons he has been a part of the staff.
Picked to finish sixth in the GLIAC Preseason poll, Northwood went 29-17 overall, 18-10 in the GLIAC in 2021. NU finished one game out of first in the conference standings and reached the semifinals of the Midwest Regionals. The team set a school record with 60 home runs while finishing the season with the fourth-highest win percentage all-time at Northwood.
During the 2018 season, Baer helped the Timberwolves finish the year with 33 wins, the third-most in program history. Northwood also reached the NCAA Regional Tournament for the third time in school history.
Baer spent the 2017-18 season on Jake Sabol’s staff at Alma College before joining him at Northwood. As an assistant at Alma, Baer primarily worked with the infielders and the catchers. Prior to Alma, Baer was the hitting and catching coach at Delta College for the 2016-17 season. Under Baer, the Pioneer offense had a .304 average, an on-base percentage of .402 while slugging .420. The offense went on to break multiple school records, including home runs and extra base hits. The offense was also first in the nation in sacrifice hits. In the super regional final, the offense rattled off 20 hits and secured Delta College’s first ever JUCO College World Series berth. Defensively, Baer’s catchers went on to throw out 33.3 percent of attempted base stealers. Baer also helped coach multiple All-MCCAA selections and Delta’s Defensive Player of the Year.
Baer played two seasons at Delta College, while also spending some time at both Grand Valley State and Saginaw Valley State. As a freshman, he led the team in RBIs with 25 while hitting .299. Baer also won Delta’s “Defensive Player of the Year” honor as a catcher. He was named All-MCCAA and won the Region XII Gold Glove for exemplifying defensive excellence as a catcher. As a sophomore, Baer hit .338 while hitting a team leading seven HRs with 40 RBIs while slugging .606. As a catcher, Baer threw out 55.2 percent of base stealers and once again won the Region XII Gold Glove. He was voted First Team All-MCCAA and was the first player in Delta history to be named First Team All-Region. After his Delta career, James won the Lynn Conway Award, which goes to a student-athlete who epitomizes the ideas personified by Mr. Lynn Conway. Student-athletes chosen for this award demonstrates leadership, skill, teamwork, integrity, sportsmanship and citizenship. James finished his career at SVSU after being named team captain in 2016.
Baer is a graduate of Clare High School where he was a three-year letter-winner in baseball and a letter-winner in football. He played for Clint Colosky and MHSBCA Hall of Fame coach, Marc Yenkel. James was a two-time First Team All-State catcher and helped lead Clare to multiple district and regional championships. He was also selected as conference player of the year twice, and also played in the East-West All-Star Game at Comerica Park.
Baer graduated from Saginaw Valley State with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management. He lives in Midland with his wife, Candice.