Kirk Walker Promoted to Associate Head Coach
LOS ANGELES – Kirk Walker, who has helped lead UCLA softball to seven NCAA Championships, was promoted to Associate Head Coach, the program announced Friday.
Walker has accumulated a coaching record of 780-144-1 (.843 winning percentage) over 21 years, separated by two stints from 1984 to 1994 and 2012 to present.
"Bringing Kirk Walker back to UCLA has been an important piece to our continued success," said The Shelly Carlin UCLA Head Softball Coach Kelly Inouye-Perez. "Kirk has helped build this tradition of excellence and is a tremendous asset in all aspects of the program, and I am pleased to promote him to an Associate Head Coach position."
Walker has been a fixture in the third base coaches' box since his return to UCLA in 2012, contributing to the 2019 National Coaching Staff of the Year award and five NFCA Regional Coaching Staff of the Year awards.
"It's a great honor and I'm grateful for the recognition of my commitment to the program and UCLA Athletics," Walker said. "I appreciate the support of Martin Jarmond, Christina Rivera and Kelly Inouye-Perez for this acknowledgement."
Walker, who helped establish UCLA softball's early dynasty, was hired as the program's first-ever undergraduate assistant coach in 1985. He helped the Bruins become the first softball team to win back-to-back NCAA Championships in 1984 and 1985, and three years later, the first and only program to accomplish a three-peat in 1988, '89 and '90.
"My passion for this program and UCLA has never been stronger since I started with the program as a freshman in 1983," Walker said. "I've spent most of my adult life coaching here at UCLA, and being named as an Associate Head Coach along with two of my closest friends and esteemed peers is a career highlight. I'm so proud to be at UCLA, a Bruin for life."
Before making his return to Westwood in 2012, Walker spent nearly two decades as the head coach at Oregon State where he became the all-time winningest coach in program history with a 594-490-3 record (.548 winning percentage). The Beavers made the postseason 10 times with Walker at the helm, including the program's first-ever Women's College World Series in 2006.
Walker continues to be a visible and vocal advocate for diversity and inclusion in sports across the country. He is one of the founders of the Equality Coaching Alliance and the LGBT Sports Coalition. Walker also serves as a founding board member for the non-profit Sports Equality Foundation, along with being the chair of the UCLA Athlete Allies committee for UCLA Athletics.