August 20, 2012

Jim Davis completes coaching staff with addition of Bart Walker


COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- Bart Walker is the final piece to women's basketball coach Jim Davis' puzzle. Walker was named assistant coach and completes a five-member staff after a brief two-year hiatus from coaching. His primary responsibilities will include scouting opponents, acting as the liaison between strength and conditioning and the team, as well coaching the wings.

"I am very pleased with this coaching staff. The chemistry is good and it's a very knowledgeable coaching staff," said head coach Jim Davis.  "It's a very loyal coaching staff. Team chemistry is so important, but the coaching chemistry is just as important. We're all going to be pulling in the same direction; hopefully that's the right direction."

Walker noted on the chemistry as well.

"It's been a natural fit here. All of the coaches come from successful programs. We all have had success along the way and we all bring different prospectives. With Erin's energy and WNBA background, and Ally's relationship with Tech and the community, it's just been a perfect fit. We're all excited to dive in," said Walker.

Walker has 10 years of coaching behind him as he enters the 2012 season with the Golden Eagles. Over his coaching career, Walker has accumulated a record of 217-71. He has earned Coach of the Year honors four times, and made four Elite 8 appearances in the junior college National Tournament.  After his brief hiatus, Walker is more than ready to be in the heat of competition.

"For two years I didn't go in a high school gym. I spent two years being a dad and coaching kids. Seeing the fundamentals, and the joy of the kids, for so long I missed that, being back at the roots of the game," said Walker. "The conversations I have now with the girls are a little different and I'm excited to see what we can do this year."

With all of Walker's accomplishments, Davis is excited to have his staff completed.

"Bart has 10 years of valuable experience at the collegiate level. He's going to be very important to our coaching staff," Davis said.

Walker was the head women's basketball coach at Northwest Florida State College before moving back to Tennessee. In his two seasons as head coach, the Raiders went 38-16, and made a state regional semi-final appearance. 

A native of Knoxville, Walker spent the beginning of his career in Tennessee. Working his way from a volunteer assistant at Walters State Community College in Morristown to the head coaching ranks at his first position at Hiwassee College.

Prior to Northwest Florida State, Walker spent four years at the helm of the Chattanooga State Tigers.  During his four years as head coach, Walker led the Tigers to three-straight state regional finals appearances, including a National Tournament Elite 8 appearance in 2006.

Walker started his career at Hiwassee College in Madisonville, Tenn. His teams earned two State Regional Championships and made two National Tournament Elite 8 appearances in 2003 and 2004. He tallied an 81-35 record during his four years with the Tigers.

Walker grew up playing the sport he now coaches, beginning at Powell area high school, where he's spent the past two years coaching high school girls basketball. After high school, Walker played at Walters State Community College and then finished his playing career at Lincoln Memorial University.

Walker and his wife Kristy, have two children, Molly, 12, and Branson, 8.