DURHAM, N.C. – Tavius “T.J.” Walker, an alumnus and former All-American sprinter at North Carolina Central University with 13 years of coaching experience, is the new Director of Men’s and Women’s Track & Field/Cross Country at NCCU, the Department of Athletics announced on Wednesday (August 24).
"I am pleased to announce Coach T.J. Walker as our new Director of Men's and Women's Track & Field/Cross Country,” said NCCU Director of Athletics Dr. Ingrid Wicker McCree. “Coach Walker knows how much our track & field/cross country program means to the history of this university and will continue building upon that legacy. His contribution to our track & field/cross country program as an outstanding NCCU student-athlete, along with his roles as volunteer assistant coach and assistant head coach will enable him to recruit the top student-athletes in the State of North Carolina and from all around the country. I am confident in his ability to build a MEAC championship program."
As a coach who specializes in sprints, hurdles and relays with a strong recruiting background, Walker boasts 13 years of coaching experience, including 11 seasons at NCCU.
“I am honored and humbled to have an opportunity to continue in the great legacy of NCCU track & field as its Director of Track & Field/Cross Country,” Walker said. “I want to thank Chancellor Debra Saunders-White, Dr. Ingrid Wicker McCree, Derrick Magee (associate athletics director/sport administrator for track & field/cross country), the search committee and our athletics administrative staff for this exciting opportunity.”
During his 11-year coaching tenure at NCCU, Walker has worked with student-athletes that earned 11 NCAA Division II All-America awards, including two All-American relay teams, and 41 all-conference honors, including eight all-conference relay squads, with one winning a conference championship. Among the three NCAA Division I East Region qualifiers under his tutelage, he also recruited and coached a Lady Eagle sprinter who ranked fourth in the nation in the 200-meter dash in 2013.
“My vision is clear… myself and the coaching staff will teach, mold and guide our student-athletes with passion and a belief in success,” Walker said. “While fostering an unforgettable team experience, we will be strategic in our recruiting and establish student-athlete development along with national and international success as the cornerstones of our program.”
A native of Raleigh, North Carolina, Walker started his coaching career in 2003 at NCCU, returning to his alma mater as a volunteer assistant coach from 2003-05.
After two successful seasons at NCCU, Walker left to become the Head Track & Field Coach for both boy's and girl's programs at Needham B. Broughton High School, his alma mater located in Raleigh, North Carolina. While there, he coached a program that had athletes who broke three school records, numerous state qualifiers and one state champion. He also led the Broughton Caps to one of its more successful seasons in recent years.
Walker returned to the NCCU coaching staff in 2007 as a full-time assistant coach with both men's and women's teams, aiding in the transition from Division II to Division I competition. The following year, he earned the position as Assistant Head Coach of the men’s and women’s track & field/cross country program.
In late February of this year, Walker was named interim head coach prior to the start of the outdoor track & field season. Under his direction, the student-athletes achieved inspiring results. The men’s and women’s teams combined for seven event victories in the first meet of the season, tallied the most top-10 finishes at the Raleigh Relays since 2012 and earned five medals at the MEAC Championships, where the NCCU men celebrated their best finish at the conference outdoor championship since rejoining the MEAC in the 2011-12 season. The men's 4x100m relay team recorded the school's fastest time in eight years to place fifth in the College Finals of the prestigious Penn Relays, the women’s 4x100m relay squad broke a High Point University meet record with the fastest time in eight years, and both of the 4x100m relay teams captured bronze medals at the MEAC Championships for their best conference finishes since returning to the league.
After excelling as a multi-sport athlete at Needham B. Broughton High School in Raleigh, track & field became his sport of choice in college.
As a sprinter at NCCU, he amassed such honors as becoming a four-time All-CIAA performer from 1996-1999, a CIAA champion in 1998, an All-American in 1999 and ranked fourth in NCAA Division II Track & Field in the 200m dash.