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Who Is

Coach John Baxter?

Coach John Baxter

Associate Head Coach/Tight Ends/Special Teams Coordinator at Fresno State

Coach John Baxter is a distinguished career college football coach renowned for his multifaceted role as both an exceptional educator and coach. His impressive journey encompasses remarkable achievements and impactful contributions to the realm of sports and academics. Named the 2011 National Special Teams Coordinator of the Year during his tenure at USC, Coach Baxter's commitment to excellence is underscored by his coaching prowess.

However, Coach Baxter's influence extends beyond the realm of football. Recognizing the need for a transformative paradigm shift in education, he emerges as a visionary advocate for comprehensive student development.

With a resolute focus on skills and ideas, Coach Baxter challenges conventional notions of academic intervention. His creation, "Academic Gameplan," has garnered national acclaim, propelled by testimonials from influential figures such as Pat Haden, USC's Athletic Director.

Under his stewardship, the Fresno State Football team underwent a monumental transformation, transcending from the nation's worst graduation rate in 1996 to producing a remarkable 141 Academic All-WAC players and achieving an NCAA APR score nearly 20 percentage points above the national average.

Rooted in an unwavering commitment to student success, Coach Baxter's impact is truly transformative. He pioneers a coaching-based approach to education through "Academic Gameplan," infusing the rules, fundamentals, and techniques of achievement into the game of school.

The program's success stories have resonated within households and schools nationwide, instilling SOLID, SIMPLE, and REPEATABLE life skills that form the bedrock of lifelong triumph.

Beyond his professional endeavors, Coach Baxter's personal journey and dedication to growth are inspiring. A Chicago native born on June 28, 1963, he pursued higher education with unwavering determination. His remarkable academic journey culminated in a master's degree in Higher Education from Iowa State in 1987. Notably, Coach Baxter's impact spans generations, as he instilled his passion for achievement into his own daughters, Kelly and McKenzie.

Coach Baxter's legacy also stems from his role within the football community. His influence extends to multiple aspects of the game, having coached special teams, tight ends, wide receivers, running backs, linebackers, and the defensive line over his impressive and ongoing 38-year coaching career.

His association with the Bulldogs in the 2022 season showcased his unwavering commitment to excellence, contributing to Fresno State's historic achievements in becoming the first program in FBS history to commence the season 1-4 and conclude with a triumphant 10-win record.

Through his coaching, advocacy, and transformative programs, Coach Baxter continues to shape the future of education and athletics, leaving an indelible mark on students, educators, and athletes alike.

Get To Know Coach Baxter

Chris Cox from Chris Cox Horsemanship sat down with The Coach and got a taste of his coaching philosophies and how he thinks. If you're wondering if your students will click with the trainings in Academic Gameplan then take a few minutes to watch this interview. 

We don't know anyone who doesn't love Coach Bax right from the start!

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Academic Gameplan Is Great...

For Parents
For Teachers
For School Leaders
But Even Better For Students - whether they're in middle school, high school or college!

I HATE School:

How a College Football Coach Has Inspired Students to Value Education and Become Lifelong Learners

Why Do So Many Kids HATE School? A paradigm shift is necessary in education. Coach John Baxter offers such reform.

"I see myself at the center of the paradigm shift, which is based on skills and ideas, not subjects and orders. Study hall, medication, tutoring and other conventional forms of intervention aren't what we need. They aren't the long-term solution. We need sustained performance based change that is built on fundamentals and technique."
Yes! I Need This Book!

Download Chapter 1 of I HATE School Now!

Start reading right away! Be part of the paradigm shift needed in our educational system today.