Chris Walker Named Interim Head Basketball Coach|
October 4, 2012
LUBBOCK, Texas - Director of Athletics Kirby Hocutt has named Chris Walker the interim head basketball coach at Texas Tech for the 2012-13 season. The decision was announced Thursday afternoon at a news conference held at the United Spirit Arena.
"Chris Walker has demonstrated tremendous leadership over the past month, enabling our basketball program to move forward," Hocutt said. "His ability to lead and manage the current situation has been very commendable. Above all else, he has placed the well-being of the young men on our team at the forefront of his energy and focus. I am confident in his ability to lead our program forward."
Walker, who served as associate head coach last season, takes over the program after Billy Gillispie submitted his letter of resignation on Sept. 19, citing health concerns. He joined the Red Raider program in 2011 after spending two seasons as an assistant coach at Villanova.
"I want to thank Kirby Hocutt, (President) Dr. Lawrence Schovanec and Chancellor Kent Hance for entrusting me with this opportunity to lead this program as we move forward," said Walker. "I have been blessed with the good fortune to work for excellent head coaches and I am prepared to take on this challenge.
"I am excited about our team and what we can accomplish this season. We will have a great attitude and play hard, play together, play smart and play with pride every time we step on the floor. Some will measure our success with how many wins we have, but we will measure our success by how hard we will play for the name on the front the jersey."
With 17 years of collegiate coaching experience, Walker has been a part of eight postseason squads, including four NCAA Tournament teams. He has coached three NBA first round draft picks - Brandon Armstrong (Pepperdine), Michael Bradley (Villanova), J.R. Giddens (New Mexico) - and the first overall pick of the second round - Dan Langhi (Vanderbilt).
At Villanova, Walker was responsible for on-court teaching and development, recruiting and scouting, when the Wildcats went 46-20 with a pair of trips to the NCAA Tournament. He saw three Villanova players earn All-BIG East honors and one, Scottie Reynolds, was a consensus All-America selection.
Walker also served as an assistant under Wright for the 2010 USA Select Team. The USA Select Team consists of juniors and seniors out of the college ranks that are brought in to scrimmage against the USA National Team.
Walker spent two seasons at the University of New Mexico as an assistant for Steve Alford from 2007-09. He was instrumental in helping turnaround a team that finished eighth in a nine-team Mountain West Conference in 2007 to tying for the conference crown in 2009. Along the way, the Lobos recorded a 46-21 record and made a pair of NIT appearances during Alford's first two seasons at the helm.
Walker spent three seasons at the University of Massachusetts where he was an assistant under head coach Steve Lappas. He was on the Minutemen sidelines from 2001-05. That included a one-year hiatus from collegiate coaching during the 2003-04 season, when he was the President and CEO of Spearhead Sports LLC in his native Houston.
He spent the 2000-01 season on Lappas' staff at Villanova before accompanying Lappas to UMass. He was also the associate head coach at both Pepperdine (1999-00) and Vanderbilt (1996-99). He began his coaching career at Loyola Marymount in 1992.
After a stellar prep career at Houston Milby High School, Walker went on to Villanova in 1988 to play for head coach Rollie Massimino. As a player, Walker started 96 games at point guard and helped the Wildcats make two NCAA Tournament appearances and two NIT appearances. At the time of his graduation, his 404 career assists ranked seventh on the school's all-time list and his 185 career steals ranked fourth. He was twice chosen to the All-Philadelphia Big Five squad.
Born on Christmas Day, Walker graduated from Villanova in 1992 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications.