TCU hires former Memphis head coach Lee Taylor Walker to lead team
FORT WORTH, Texas -- TCU director of athletics Chris Del Conte announced the hiring of Lee Taylor Walker as head coach. Walker becomes the 12th head coach in the history of the program.
Walker comes to TCU after spending the past seven seasons as head coach at Memphis, where he made significant improvements to a program that hadn't posted a winning season since 2003 until his takeover. A native of Jackson, Tennessee, Walker led the Lady Tigers to their first NCAA tournament appearance and win, while also compiling a 39-match home win streak.
"Lee Taylor Walker is a perfect fit for the TCU and Fort Worth communities," Del Conte said. "Lee has done a remarkable job at Memphis and has truly set the standard for combining excellence on the court and in the classroom.
"Lee is very highly respected on the collegiate tennis scene. After inheriting a Memphis team that was 1-17, he built a program that became a fixture in the national rankings as well as reaching the postseason. He also places a tremendous focus on academics, as his team posted a 3.9 grade-point average this past semester."
Walker had an overall career record of 96-74 at Memphis and guided 10 Lady Tigers to all-conference honors in his seven seasons at the helm. Memphis had unprecedented success under Walker, leading the team to multiple program firsts.
Some of the many accomplishments that Memphis achieved under Walker include reaching a program-high national ranking of No. 22, defeating the highest ranked opponent in program history (No. 16 Virginia on Feb. 26, 2013), recording two consecutive seasons of a program-high six wins against ranked opponents and guiding the first singles player in program history to the NCAA singles championships (Courtney Collins, 2012 and '13).
"It's a real privilege to have this opportunity, and I'm very grateful to Chris Del Conte and [TCU associate athletics director/senior woman administrator] Kim Johnson for the hospitality and kindness they showed me the past few weeks," Walker said. "TCU is a world class university, sits in a great community and city and has an athletics department that is committed to excellence in every way. There is nothing holding the tennis program back from dreaming big and going for it. I love coaching and building new relationships, and I look forward to doing this at TCU for a long time.
"It is also a real blessing for me to get to work alongside [TCU men's tennis head coach] David Roditi and the men's team. I had an outstanding relationship with the men's coach at Memphis and this is crucial in building a great experience for both tennis teams. Two teams, one program was our motto and I know it will be the same with David here at TCU. He's a super coach with a great reputation around the country."
This past season, Walker helped Memphis to a 14-9 record and a final ranking of No. 41 in the country. The Lady Tigers advanced to their third consecutive conference tournament semifinal match and nabbed their biggest win of the season with a 4-3 victory at home against No. 26 Pepperdine to continue the squad's school -ecord home win streak to 36 matches. Memphis reached as high as No. 27 in the ITA poll and never dropped below No. 45 during the 2014 season.