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In Memory of Coach Josh 

A fierce competitor on the field.  A loving son, husband, nephew, cousin and friend of the field.  A champion of kids always. 

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100% of the money donated too the JBMYSF fund will be used  to cover the cost of playing club soccer for two or more selected players who possess a passion for the game yet without financial assistance, would otherwise be unable to play their sport at the club level.Our goal at the Baker Family Foundation is to grow this scholarship from west Portland Metro to Portland Metro to state wide and it can only happen with your support. 

Josh the Player 

Josh attended Bridlemile grade school where he excelled in sports. As a pure athlete his two favorite sports were soccer and basketball. Josh’s uncle, Marc Baker, helped coach Josh in soccer starting in 3rd grade at Bridlemile, through middle school at West Sylvan then to the Foothills SC and finally Westside Metro’s through his U-15 season. Josh received First Team All-Metro League recognition as a Junior and Senior and was Second Team All-State as a Junior and First Team All-State as a senior while playing high school soccer at Jesuit, winning 3 state soccer championships in a row. It was at this point that he took his skills to the next level working with FC Portland, eventually playing for the University of Portland for 3 years where he received the West Coast Conference All League recognition in 2004. A highlight for Josh was playing  for Clive Charles who was like a father figure to him. Upon Clive’s passing, Josh struggled with the loss and decided he needed a new setting. At the time the New Mexico Lobos were looking for a Center Defender and so he transferred for his Senior season to the University of New Mexico.  The Lobos  reached the College Cup Final 4 in Cary, North Carolina in 2005. Josh was named by ESPN as the “Man of the Match."  Josh was drafted by the Colorado Rapids in the Major League Soccer Superdraft but ultimately ended up back home in Portland to start his professional career. Josh played one season for the Portland Timbers but suffered his first two injuries of his soccer career and decided to hang up the boots and start to work with kids. 

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JOSH THE COACH 

For over 20 years Josh has dedicated his time to foster his passion, coaching youth soccer.  He is well known in the Portland Metro community coaching for coaching at Bridlemile United, The Westside Metros, United PDX and most recently, NW Elite. When it comes to the kind of coach Josh was, it is in the words of his friends, colleagues, players and their parents that say it best:​​

"Josh had the ability to connect with kids and make them feel special , cared for and loved. His influence on kids will last a long time, and someday they will share stories of their favorite coach with their kids."​ 

"I love and appreciate every every moment I had with Josh and will cherish it for the rest of my life as he was such an important role model for me in a time in my life I was maturing s a person.  He guided me in the right direction to achieve my goals." 

​"Josh was a huge part of helping me be myself and he is a huge part I am confident and connected with myself today.  He gave me a lot of perspective that I would not have had otherwise in my life."

 ​"Even now at 20 with countless coaches under my belt, the years with Josh were the most meaningful.  Thanks for being a role model to my younger self, for being an amazing coach , and for pushing me to pursue the sport I love so much. ​​​ ​​

Josh the Human  

Josh was raised in a single parent household by his Mom Cindy Baker with a lot of help, support and love from his Grandma Sally, Grandpa Neil and his Uncle Marc. He loved his family immensely. From childhood to until his passing Josh was a guy  with immense personality and a kind spirit that drew people toward him.​

SWEET AND STYLISH 

Josh was a very happy child. He was easy going and always had a smile on his face. He had many friends who he made special memories with Beach trips, Sunriver, Spring training, sledding and of course sports.  He wasn't afraid to try anything. He often expressed gratitude for his life experiences as a kid.  But he was sensitive too. When he was nine his uncle Marc  took him to see Hulk Hogan and he started to cry when the Hulk was slammed to the ground, and on his first fishing trip and  he witnessed young deer being attacked by another animal, Josh came home in tears.And he loved shoes, Jordans were a favorite, and hats, he loved hats.  The guy had style.  ​

 

KIND AND KOOKY 

Josh was a compassionate man with an unwavering dedication to those that didn't have a voice. He was generous with those he cared about and constantly giving off everything he had and  when he felt like he didn't have much he was incredibly generous with his time. He was always incredibly aware of how he affected those around him and did everything in his power to not be the reason others around him were inconvenienced.  He found kids hilarious. Maybe it was the fact that kids  speak the truth even though sometimes unintentionally. He treated every child as if they were an adult and as if they held responsibility for their actions.  Josh loved older comedians. In fact, a few days before he passed, he  watched the Shaquille O’Neal NBA All-Star comedy special with all sorts of 90s and early 2000 comedians.  Josh loved to sing and dance. He would turn every single thing that he was doing into some small melody or chorus line and he would dance with the puppies while he was cleaning or doing dishes or laundry or smoking with Brendon or whatever it was. He was so full of joy and energy. It was like it couldn’t be contained in his body.

 

PASSIONATE AND DEDICATED

There were  sticky notes all over Josh and Mariah’s house about his wants and his vision for the future.Most surrounding soccer and the growth of his development Academy, as well as the entire boys side of Northwest Elite.  Josh  wanted to build a clubhouse where kids could go play soccer at the home field and then go to the clubhouse and have mentors and tutors that would help them with their homework and allow them to work on whatever they needed to work on. He also wanted to give them a space where they could learn how to cook learn how to take care of things around the house get mentorship from people all over the community and  give, the underprivileged kids, a place to clean their clothes or take a nap without being disturbed.  One of the last things that we spoke about before he passed, was wanting to set up a Time where all of his boys would go to feed the poor or building houses or do some sort of volunteer work and get some more understanding that maybe they were extremely well off but others in their community were not.

A KID AT HEART  

Josh was kid at heart which is why he connected so well with kids. It  was his ultimate dream  to keep his childhood alive and continue to connect with his younger self and I think he did that best working with kids. 

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