Clark Atlanta University is conducting a national search for a new head basketball coach as Darrell Walker has resigned to take the same position at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock.
Walker, who led the Panthers to two NCAA Division II Basketball Tournament appearances and the 2017 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament title, went 45-18 in two seasons as CAU's head coach. This past season, the Panthers were nationally-ranked much of the year, winning 15 games in a row at one point.
"Two years ago, we hired Coach Darrell Walker with the expectation that he would build a championship program worthy of regional and national recognition, serve as a life coach to student-athletes beyond graduation, and create an excitement within the Atlanta community, as well as attracting national business networks. He exceeded all expectations and became a true partner within the campus community," said CAU Athletic Director J Lin Dawson.
"The bar has been raised for the next head coach to win championships, graduate student-athletes and to develop leaders," he said.
Clark Atlanta University President Dr. Ronald A. Johnson said CAU was fortunate to have Walker leading the program.
"His commitment on the basketball court carried over into the classroom, where he was known to drop in on his student-athletes' classes to ensure they were making satisfactory academic progress," Johnson said.
"Additionally, the Darrell Walker Art and Basketball fundraiser was created and launched at Clark Atlanta to ensure that the men's basketball team had the funds needed to attend summer school, thus enabling on-time graduation," Johnson said. "His fundraisers and personal relationships garnered nearly $250,000 and other special gifts for Clark Atlanta University Athletics. His leadership on and off the court will be truly missed."
Walker is a former NBA player, assistant coach, and head coach who brought those experiences – along with many of his NBA colleagues – to the CAU campus to speak and teach to his student-athletes.
"My time here at Clark Atlanta University was a very special, warm and friendly time in my life and my career," Walker said. "It just has been a place where I needed it and it needed me, so it worked out perfectly. It was tough talking to my players yesterday about leaving, what we had built here, the relationships, how much I was proud of them and what we'd accomplished over the last two years, the notoriety we brought to the school, uplifted the school. It was tough. I broke down in front of my guys because they mean a lot to me. And this school, Clark Atlanta University, is going to mean a lot to me."
Dawson said CAU looks to have a new men's basketball coach soon.
"Given the important recruitment period that we are in, we have started a national search and look to have the next Clark Atlanta University Panthers men's basketball coach in place within the next two weeks," he said.