Dover, Del. --- Delaware State University today announced the hiring of Keith Walker – who served as the interim men’s head coach for the last third of the 2013-2014 season – as the permanent Hornet men’s head basketball coach.
In announcing the head coaching appointment, DSU President Harry L. Williams said that Walker made a strong case for himself by the way he took over the leadership of the team and energized the players as interim coach.
“Coach Walker did everything we asked of him when he agreed to be the interim head coach in last month of the past season,” Dr. Williams said. “He stabilized the team, resulting in a more competitive unit on the court and a higher winning percentage.”
The DSU president commended the search committee, noting that it ultimately came up with a group of strong finalists for the post. “The fact that Walker emerged from this tough search process as the head coach selection reflects well on his most recent interim performance as well as on his long-time dedicated service as assistant coach,” Dr. Williams added.
DSU Director of Athletics Candy Young said the team’s performance under his interim leadership has led to the conclusion that he can move the men’s basketball program in the right direction. “The players responded positively to his coaching during his interim tenure and we believe that trend will continue and result in greater success for the Hornet men’s basketball program with Walker at the helm,” she said.
Walker, a DSU men’s basketball assistant coach since July 2000, was appointed as interim Hornet head coach on Jan. 30, 2014. In the subsequent 11 games, Walker led the Hornets to a 5-6 overall record and 5-5 mark in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. Prior to the appointment, the team was 4-15 overall and 0-6 in the conference.
During Walker’s interim tenure, Delaware State posted a season-high three-game win streak and later achieved an upset victory over the 2014 MEAC Tournament runner-up Morgan State.
As an assistant coach, Walker worked primarily with the DSU forwards and centers. During the 2013-14 season, Walker’s work with 3rd-year player Kendall Gray was instrumental in the Hornet center’s team record of 81 blocks that year and being named on the All-MEAC Second Team. Walker’s defensive coaching was also validated during the 2011-12 season when the Hornets had a school-record 192 blocks, leading the MEAC in that category.
Prior to his arrival at DSU, Walker served as head coach at Division II Shaw University in Raleigh, N.C., from 1993 to 2000. He posted a 91-102 overall record at Shaw, including a 21-9 mark and the school’s first-ever NCAA Tournament berth during the 1994-95 season.
As a three-year collegiate player at Clemson, he helped lead the Tigers to a 23-9 overall record and an Elite Eight appearance in the 1980 NCAA Tournament.
Walker has a 1981 Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Clemson and a 1991 master’s degree in Student Personnel Services from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
The newly appointed head coach and wife Kim have three children – Dockery, Zachary and Sawyer. Dockery is a member of the Brown University men’s basketball team.