The Collegian
Saturday, September 26, 2020

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Two golfers receive academic and athletic recognition

<p>Men's golf's Michael Baker (left) and Michael Childress (right). <em>Photos courtesy of The University of Richmond's men's golf team Twitter.</em></p>

Men's golf's Michael Baker (left) and Michael Childress (right). Photos courtesy of The University of Richmond's men's golf team Twitter.

The Golf Coaches Association of America recognized two University of Richmond men's golf players as Srixon/Cleveland Golf All-American Scholars in the summer of 2020. Senior Michael Baker and junior Michael Childress were recognized for their performance on the golf course and in the classroom.

To be eligible for the award, athletes must be a sophomore, junior or senior, according to the award's website. They must also have an average shooting score of 76.0 (for the Division 1 requirement) and maintain a GPA of at least 3.20, according to the award’s requirements.

Baker and Childress are both Business Administration majors in the E. Claiborne Robins School of Business; Baker has a concentration in finance and Childress has a concentration in marketing. Both are also high school graduates of the Cannon School, a high school in Concord, North Carolina, according to their athletic profiles.

Both Baker and Childress attributed their academic success to the close-knit nature of the golf team. 

“It’s easy to get into a studying routine when all of us do our work together,” Childress said.  

Baker said before the COVID-19 pandemic, the team generally had found a classroom big enough for the whole team to do their work together in the evenings. The men’s golf team is composed of all business majors or students who intend to study business, which makes it easier to work together and study, Baker said. 

Head Coach Adam Decker said that he and his staff speak of the athletic and academic rigor at UR early in the recruiting process. 

Baker said he just accepted a position at Lazard and he will start after graduation in May 2021. He said his long-term goal is to work on the east coast in private equity or specialize in merging or acquiring other companies.

Baker is eager to enter the professional world, he said. He said he was looking forward to having opportunities to meet and network with successful business people. 

In addition to his business degree, Childress said he is in the process of applying to the Jepson School of Leadership to pursue a double major. He said he would like to work in a sports-related field, possibly sports marketing or coaching. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Childress has decided that he will use his last year of eligibility and graduate in May 2023, he said.

In addition to Baker and Childress’s athletic and academic recognition, the men’s golf team was recognized as one of the nation’s top academic golf teams. According to athletic archives, the team recorded an average GPA of 3.71 for the 2019-20 academic year. 

On the golf course, Baker shot his season-best of 221 his junior year at the Mobile Sports Authority Collegiate, and Childress led the team with a 74.0 stroke average his sophomore year, according to their profiles. 

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Contact sports editor Grace Mittl at grace.mittl@richmond.edu.

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