A long-time member of Tyrone Willingham's coaching staff, the 2007 season marked the 13th year Kent Baer worked for the Husky head coach and his third at Washington. UW is the third Pac-10 school where Baer has served as a defensive coordinator.
A coach who insists on sound fundamentals and an aggressive attitude on defense, Baer coached with Willingham for three years at Notre Dame and was a member of his staff for seven years at Stanford. Baer served as the Fighting Irish head coach during the 2004 Insight Bowl following Willingham's dismissal.
In 2004 Baer's Irish defense ranked third in the nation against the run, (88.2 yards per game) and allowed five rushing TDs during the regular season. The 2003 Irish defense ranked 33rd nationally in total defense and was 29th in the nation against the rush, surrendering only 127.2 yards per game. In Baer's first season at Notre Dame, the 2002 Irish finished ninth in scoring defense (16.69), 10th in the nation in pass efficiency (98.24) and rushing defense (95.23), and 13th in total defense (300.00).
In 2002 Baer was named a finalist for the Frank Broyles Award, given to the nation's most outstanding assistant coach, for the first time in his career.
Baer, who also coached the linebackers while at Stanford, came to the Cardinal in 1995 after serving as a defensive coordinator for 12 seasons at Arizona State, California and Utah State. In 2001, Baer's Cardinal defense led the Pac-10 in rushing defense for only the second time in school history. The Cardinal only gave up 109.6 yards per game on the ground that season.
While at Stanford, Baer coached some of the finest defensive players in school history, including Riall Johnson and Willie Howard. Johnson, an outside linebacker, became the first player in Pac-10 history to lead the league in sacks in back-to-back seasons (1999-2000), while Howard, a defensive end, became only the fourth defensive lineman in school history to earn first-team all-Pac-10 honors in consecutive seasons.
Baer was the defensive coordinator and inside linebackers coach at Arizona State for three seasons (1992-94) prior to coming to Stanford. He has coached at California (1987-91), Idaho (1986), Utah State (1977-85) and with the Yokosuka Seahawks (a United States Navy team) from 1973-76. His 1992 Sun Devils defense allowed just 268.8 yards per game and was ranked seventh in the nation. All-Americans Shante Carver, Craig Newsome and Brett Wallerstedt were all mainstays on Baer's Arizona State defense.
Prior to Arizona State, Baer was Cal's defensive coordinator for five seasons. He was part of a staff that led the Bears to a 17-6-1 record in 1990-91 with victories in the Copper Bowl (1990) and Citrus Bowl (1991). Baer helped lead Cal to a 10-2 record and a No. 8 national ranking in 1991.
In his one season at Idaho, Baer was the defensive coordinator for a Vandals team that went 8-4 and earned a berth in the NCAA Division 1-AA playoffs.
At Utah State, Baer coached outside linebackers for six seasons (1977-82) before becoming the defensive coordinator and secondary coach for three years (1983-85). In two of his three years as defensive coordinator, the Aggies led the conference in total defense
Baer also brings an international coaching flavor to Washington, having served as the head coach of the Yokosuka Seahawks (United States Navy) team in Japan for four years (1973-76) before returning to Utah State. While coaching in Japan, he was the athletics and recreation director for the entire United States Navy there, including the Seventh Fleet, with over 100 employees working under him. For the past 16 years, Baer has coached and coordinated the New Era Bowl in Nishinomiya, Japan. The game features two of the best Japanese college football teams from the Osaka area and 12 college players from the U.S. Each team receives six players and two coaches from an American college team.
Baer was a standout linebacker at Utah State (1969-72), where he lettered four straight seasons. He broke the school record for tackles with 116 in 1972, a mark that stood for 10 years. He graduated in 1973 with a degree in physical education and recreation. Baer enjoyed a fine prep career at Sky View High School in Smithfield, Utah.
A native of Logan, Utah, Baer was born May 2, 1951. He has three sons: Brian, Aaron James (A.J.) and Steven Blake. Baer also has two grandchildren through his son, Brian, and his wife, Kristen, - a girl, Alex, and a boy, Max.