Softball's Kirk Walker To Coach USA Red National Team

June 4, 2001

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - Oregon State head coach Kirk Walker has been chosen as one of six finalists for a chance to coach the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece and will coach the USA Red National Team this summer, announced the Amateur Softball Association/USA Softball on Monday.

Walker will team with Jay Miller of University of Missouri and John Rittman of Stanford to lead the USA Red squad in preparation for the Olympics.

The USA Red team is composed of 16 players, 11 from the Pacific-10 Conference, while the USA Blue squad boasts nine players from the Pac-10.

Both teams will compete against each other in the USA Softball Shootout, a West Coast exhibition tour, that will stop in Portland (June 8), Spokane (June 10), Sacramento (June 14) and UCLA's Easton Stadium (June 17).

USA Red will then travel to Honolulu, June 20-24, to represent the United States at the 2001 U.S. Cup, where they will face 2000 Olympic silver medalist Japan, bronze medalist Australia and fourth-place finisher China. The U.S. Cup will mark the first time Team USA has faced these international teams since the 2000 Olympic Games.

The two teams will then travel to Vancouver, June 30-July 6, for the 2001 Canada Cup. The USA captured the gold medal and the bronze medal in 1999 when two teams were represented at the Canada Cup.

USA Blue will close out the season when it travels to Maracay, Venezuela, July 28-August 5 to represent the USA at the 2001 Pan Am Qualifier.

USA Softball Women's National Teams have been among the most dominating of any sports team in history. The USA's ability to bring home the gold in World Championships, the Pan American Games and the Olympics is unchallenged, with a total of thirteen.

A complete list of players selected to the USA Red and USA Blue teams is available on www.usasoftball.com. Complete bios on players and coaches will be posted in the next few days.

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