The UMass Dartmouth men's golf team has traditionally been successful, and its winning ways had not changed since Head Coach Joel Baptista seized the decision-maker's role in the Spring 2006 season. They took their success to the next level in the Fall of 2010, when they became the first Corsair team to advance to NCAA postseason play in 33 years, winning the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) championship and advancing to the NCAA Division III Championships in the Spring of 2011.
Baptista led UMass Dartmouth to a victory in his first match as head coach when the Corsairs were victorious at the Jack Barry Invitational Tournament in of 2006. UMD finished third or better in four of their five tournaments that Spring, then was second or better three times the next fall, and won the Worcester State Invitational.
The success of the team has continued on the course and in the classroom as the Corsairs have picked up wins in the Westport Hampton Inn Invitational (the inaugural 2009 event and again in 2013), the Wentworth Leopards Invitational (2009), the Nichols College Invitational (2009), the Johnson & Wales Match Play (2010), the Rhode Island College Fall Invitational (2010), the NEIGA Championships (2012) and the Southern Maine Fall Classic (2013) as well as being named to the GCAA DIII All-Academic team in 2014 and 2017.
Baptista has coached several outstanding players, including Kyle Pelletier, Tyler Kett, and Nick Jagoe along with his fellow teammates of the 2010-11 championship team as well as current captain and GNAC All-Conference standout Jackson Mitchell. Kett was named to the Ping NCAA Division III All-Northeast Region Team as a senior by the Golf Coaches Association of America.
A South Coast native, Baptista graduated from Dartmouth High School and then completed his degree at UMass Dartmouth, and is a former golf course general manager and United States Golf Federation teacher. Baptista was honored by his coaching peers by being awarded the 2016 NEIGA Gordon McCullough Honoree, which recognized one that personifies management, sportsmanship, ethics, and comradeship of fellow coaches, demonstrating good coaching skills on and off the golf course and contributing to the community on behalf of collegiate golf. Baptista is married (Jennifer) and is the proud father of two children, Alison and Craig.