WALKER SET TO LEAD WOMEN'S SOCCER PROGRAM AS HEAD COACH
Women's Soccer - Mon, Feb. 12, 2018
Athens, TN- The head women's soccer coaching position left open by the departure of long-time coach Naomi Kolarova has been officially filled by a familiar face to Tennessee Wesleyan. Bryan Walker was announced by athletic director Donny Mayfield as the new head coach of the women's soccer program this aftenoon.
"It feels really good to be back here at TWU and to be able to take over a program that has experienced so much success in the past couple of seasons. I want to thank Mr. Mayfield for giving me this opportunity."
Walker comes back to Tennessee Wesleyan University after a season as an assistant coach for the men's and women's soccer teams at Carson- Newman University, helping the women's program to a 21-1-1 record and an appearance in the NCAA Division II Women's Soccer National Championship game. In his previous stint with the Bulldogs in the 2016-2017 season, the Knoxville native served as an assistant coach on the men's soccer staff where the program compiled an 11-4-4 record. He also served as the interim women's lacrosse head coach, leading the program to a 13-5 record and the first Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC) Women's Lacrosse Championship in the program's history.
"We are excited to have Bryan back at Tennessee Wesleyan as our new head women's soccer coach," athletic director Donny Mayfield stated. "Through his experience at Carson-Newman and his combined time at Maryville College as a player and coach along with his previous stint here at Tennessee Wesleyan, particularly, stepping into a tough situation as interim head women's lacrosse coach and achieving the success he had with the team, showed me he was the right fit to continue to build upon the foundation Coach Kolarova set in her time here."
After playing four years as a goalkeeper at Bearden High School, where he earned All-State and All-Region honors and was a key piece to the team's 2006 state championship, Walker went on to star in the net for Maryville College. In his playing time as the goalie for Maryville, he helped lead the team to a conference championship each of his four years there and was named to the All-Conference Team in the Golden State Athletic Conference three times from 2007-2009.
His first step in the coaching realm came at Maryville, returning to the school after graduating in 2011 to serve as an assistant coach for both the men's and women's programs for five years. During the 2014 season at Maryville, the women's program won the USA South Athletic Conference tournament championship. Along with his coaching experience at Maryville, Walker has led teams on the high school level in Knoxville while also serving as an assistant coach in the National Premier Soccer League for Knoxville Men's Force and the Women's Premier Soccer League for the Knoxville Lady Force. While with both Knoxville Force teams, the Lady Force won back-to-back region titles in 2015 and 2016 while the Men's Force won the Eastern Region regular season championship in 2017, posting the most successful season the club has had.
Walker takes over a program at Tennessee Wesleyan which saw one of the most historic seasons ever. The team won 15 regular season games, a second consecutive AAC tournament title and won the program's first-ever NAIA tournament game to go to the Sweet 16 only to follow the win up with a second NAIA tournament victory which sent them to Elite Eight, the first women's program in the athletic department's history to advance to a quarterfinals in an NAIA postseason tournament.
"I love the environment around this university and it is an incredible place to be. We have a very strong group that is returning next year and we hope to continue building for continued success in the future."