David Baker has announced his retirement as President and Executive Director of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, according to a Saturday press release from the Hall.
“As I approach the end of nearly eight years of service to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, I have come to the conclusion that it is time for someone else to have the ‘best job in the world’ so I can still do a few more exciting things in my professional life while also returning home to our four children, 10 grandchildren and soon-to-be great grandson in Orange County, California, whom I’ve missed so much during my tenure at ‘The Most Inspiring Place on Earth,’ Baker said in a press release.
The retirement is effective immediately, as Baker plans to “return to his home, family and business projects in California and Nevada.”
Baker had served since January 2014 as President of the Hall. Prior to his time in Canton, Baker had played professional basketball in Europe, served as an Irvine, California city councilman, and commissioner of the now-defunct Arena Football League.
Under Baker’s tenure, the Hall of Fame had overseen the redevelopment of Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium (formerly Fawcett Stadium), as well as the development of the Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village in Canton.
Baker will continue to represent the Hall at upcoming ceremonies for the remainder of the schedule as the retired President and Executive Director, including the Pro Football Hall of Fame at Ring of Excellence ceremonies.
Jim Porter, the Hall of Fame’s Chief Marketing and Communications Officer since April 2020, has been named the succeeding President of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and will now will oversee all daily business operations. The 57-year-old Porter is a lifelong resident of Stark County and joined the Hall after spending over three decades in journalism.
“Few people combine vision, passion and dedication as completely as David Baker,” said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in a press release. “In seven years as president and CEO of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, David expanded the Hall’s brand nationally and footprint locally in Canton, Ohio. The growth he envisioned led to the expansion of the Hall of Fame, spread to downtown Canton and will continue to have a tremendous impact on the future of the Hall for decades to come.”
Baker had been well noted for his involvement in viral announcements of former NFL players and coaches being selected for enshrinement in the Hall of Fame, including former Super Bowl-winning coaches Jimmy Johnson and Bill Cowher in 2020.