Sam Walker moves to a new role as executive director of Alumni Engagement. The national search for head men’s basketball coach to begin immediately
COMMERCE — Texas A&M University-Commerce President Dr. Ray M. Keck has named Sam Walker Executive Director of Alumni Engagement. In this new role, Walker – a 1993 graduate of East Texas State University – will have direct influence in expanding alumni engagement, supporting chapter formulation, and facilitating strategic undergraduate recruiting initiatives in the vibrant North Texas region.
“Sam Walker is synonymous with Texas A&M University-Commerce,” Keck said. “His genuine passion for this institution makes him a pillar in Commerce that represents everything right about our history, and that will be mutually beneficial for us in this new role. He and his family have made Commerce their home, and I am thrilled he has agreed to this new role that will keep him a Lion.”
Walker, who has successfully led the Lion basketball program for 17 seasons, will begin his new duties immediately after serving as the lead consultant to the director of athletics Tim McMurray on the search for a new men’s basketball coach. Walker will work directly with McMurray throughout the process.
“This opportunity for Sam comes with mixed emotions,” McMurray noted. “His blood in the bricks for our program is unmatched. He and I communicated with Dr. Keck throughout this process, and I know the decision was both emotional and gratifying because I share those sentiments.
“Without question, Sam will be a key partner for me in our hiring process. The right institutional fit will receive our Lion Basketball torch.”
Walker’s teams enjoyed the strongest winning history in Lion athletics, earning an overall record of 285-202 in his 17 seasons as head men’s basketball coach. His teams won the Lone Star Conference Tournament Championships in 2005 and 2015.
Under Walker, the Lions advanced to the NCAA Division II National Tournament three times – in 2005, 2015, and 2017. The 2005 Lions were South Central Region finalists, hosting the regional tournament.
Under Walker’s tutelage, there are 42 players recognized as All-Lone Star Conference selections, including 12 first team honorees. He has coached two Lone Star Conference Players of the Year (Jemart Miller in 2004-05, Darrell Williams in 2014-15). There are five LSC Newcomers of the Year, three LSC Freshmen of the Year, a Daktronics First Team All-American (Darrell Williams in 2014-15), and a Daktronics Third Team All-American (Scooby Johnson in 2007-08). Additionally, Walker’s coaching tree had deep roots, as the veteran coach has mentored 13 current and former college basketball coaches.
“This university has both framed and made possible my professional and private life,” said Walker. “From meeting my wife, building our family in this community, and coaching and mentoring student-athletes for 25 years, it has given me unbelievable opportunities.”
“Now, I have been offered and accepted an exceptional new challenge to serve this wonderful institution, engaging not only our future and current students but also our alumni in new and exciting ways. I could not be more invigorated for this new chapter.”
A national search for a new men’s basketball coach will commence immediately. The University and Lion Athletics will have no further comment on the search until the introduction of the new coach.