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Walker Named to Men's Basketball Staff

May 16, 2002 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Men's Basketball coach Kermit Davis has worked quickly since landing the Middle Tennessee job on April 12.

Davis completed his first recruiting class last week and topped off his staff on Wednesday with the announcement that Jeff Walker has been named as an assistant coach.

Walker, who has extensive contacts in the state of Tennessee will be responsible for recruiting in the state as well as Mississippi. Aside from his on-the-floor coaching duties, he will coordinate the team's film exchange program.

"Jeff brings a great deal of Tennessee basketball experience to our staff," said Davis. "He is a proven head coach at the collegiate level and has turned around losing programs into successful ones in a short period of time. He and his wife, Lynne, who is also a Tennessee native, are looking forward to getting back to middle Tennessee."

Davis also indicated that he was pleased to have completed his staff.

"I believe we have put together a very loyal and hardworking staff. They are all family-oriented guys that will make sure that everything is done the right way at Middle Tennessee. I think that they are all looking forward to getting things started and building Blue Raider basketball back into a successful program very quickly."

Walker echoed Davis' sentiments about his new position.

"It is great to be back here after growing up in middle Tennessee. It is also great to be in Murfreesboro where you always dreamed of coming to win a state championship in high school. I think that we have a tremendous staff and I am looking forward to the opportunity of working with Coach Davis as well as the other assistant coaches Donnie Tyndall and Tres Chapman."

Walker comes to Middle Tennessee from Grayson County College in Denison, Texas, after putting together a 20-10 record and garnering the first-ever national ranking in the program's history. Walker, who led his team to as high as no. 13 in the national polls this season, went 17-13 in the previous season after taking over a program that had posted a 1-29 mark in the 1999-2000 campaign.

That type of turnaround has become a refrain in Walker's coaching career. He was credited with the biggest turnaround at any level of collegiate basketball with the 16-game improvement at Grayson after also achieving the same feat while the head coach at Hiwassee Junior College in Madisonville, Tenn., during the 1998-99 campaign.

Walker took over at Hiwassee with the 1998-99 team and went 24-5 after a 4-23 record in the previous season. In his next season with Hiwassee, Walker's charges tallied a 22-9 record and went on to win the Tennessee Junior College Athletic Association state title.

Prior to his stint at Hiwassee, Walker was the head coach for one season at San Diego Mesa College, putting together a 12-17 record. However, once again Walker worked some magic, improving his club from a 5-23 record in the prior season.

Walker's resume also includes some time in professional basketball. He was the head coach and general manager of the Memphis Fire in the United States Basketball League from 1993-96 managing an 18-16 record in two years prior to the team's folding. His 1995 squad was 8-0 and in first place when the team went under.

He also spent time in the Global Basketball Association as the head coach and general manager of the Mid-Michigan Great Lakers in 1992-93 and the Huntsville Lasers from 1991-92.

Walker's first head coaching stint came at Raleigh-Egypt High School in Memphis where he resurrected a program in the Memphis City League. In 1989-90 his team went 13-13, a 12-game improvement over the team's 1-26 record in the prior season. His 1990-91 squad went 18-9, which was good enough for a school record for wins at the time.

The Nashville native began his coaching career as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Belmont University, in 1987. From there, he moved to Tennessee State as an assistant coach for the 1988-89 campaign.

Walker garnered quite a reputation for developing talent. He produced two USBL rookies of the year and five of his players while in the USBL and GBA went on to play in the NBA. He has coached 11 NBA draft picks, including two players that were lottery picks. Among his other talent are 12 collegiate All-Americans and 19 high school All-Americans.

He also has direct ties to the Middle Tennessee program. He coached former Blue Raider point guard D'Marius Wilkes while at Hiwassee and current Blue Raider signee Marcus Robinson while at Grayson County.

Walker attended high school at Glencliff in Nashville before obtaining his bachelor's degree at Belmont. He then went on to earn his master's degree at Tennessee State.

He and his wife Lynne have two children, Gracie (16) and Rex (11).

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