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Park names new director

Staff Photo by Jebb Johnston

New director Robin Baker speaks with Corinth-Alcorn County Parks & Recreation Commission Chairman Butch Carmichiel at the park Tuesday afternoon.

By Jebb Johnston jjohnston@dailycorinthian.com

Crossroads Regional Park's own roster produced its next leader.

The park commission promoted Robin Baker, who has served as athletic director for about the last three years, to the director's job following the recent departure of Ray Holloway.

Butch Carmichiel, the park commission chairman, said Baker was the most qualified of the applicants.

"She was the logical choice," he said. "We're tickled to death to have her onboard."

Baker brings about 15 years of experience in parks and recreation and another 15 years in leadership roles with the YMCA at several locations.

"I've played just about every role from the bottom up," said Baker.

Originally from Hardeman County in Tennessee, she is excited to take on the new job.

"In the past three years that I've been here, the department is going in a good direction," said Baker. "This is a beautiful park. With our new complex opening up, we've got a lot of opportunities."

A basketball and softball player in high school, she earned a bachelor's degree in recreation and sports management at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, where she had a basketball scholarship. She soon became recreation superintendent for the Murfreesboro Parks and Recreation Department and later served as sports and program director in Jackson, Tennessee.

From there, she became executive director for the YMCA in Collierville and Millington in Tennessee. She moved up to district director in Knoxville and then served as CEO of the YMCA in Jackson, Tennessee.

She is now enjoying living and working in Corinth, where she is closer to her parents.

The new director aims to keep the park's calendar full of activity.

"I had 86 ball teams playing out here last summer," said Baker. "That's from tee-ball all the way up to our senior league of softball."

She was excited by the addition of soccer in the last few years and hopes to bring in some more new activities, including camps, summer clinics and possibly 'movies in the park' type events. Baker would also like to see more partnership activities with churches, schools and other groups.

She also wants to see the park continue its efforts to attract tournament play that will draw people into the city.

"This weekend, we have 75 teams signed up for our boys baseball tournament," said Baker. "Eleven are local teams. A lot will be coming from out of town."

Development of a splash pad "is on our radar," she said.

With the promotion of Baker, the park will be looking to hire a new athletic director.