Bill Walker, UIS men’s basketball
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UIS Men’s Basketball Head Coach Bill Walker, now in his third season as head coach, grew up in Warrensburg, Missouri. His father was the athletic director at Central Missouri State University.
Of his childhood, Walker said, “I was interested in all sports,” but basketball emerged as his favorite.
Walker started playing basketball in third grade. He continued to play through high school and college and knew that he always wanted to coach when his playing career was finished.
Before becoming head coach at UIS, Walker was an assistant coach at several schools, including University of Missouri St. Louis (UMSL), University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), Drake University, University of Minnesota, and Texas A&M University.
Walker was an assistant coach at those schools over a 24-year span.
Walker said, “I always wanted to be a head coach, and UIS was an opportunity to take a program that had struggled at the [NCAA Division II] level and try to improve, [and] I’m confident that we are heading in the right direction.
“We have a great and growing university, and our program is growing also.”
Walker has also been a scout for the New Orleans Hornets, now the Pelicans, where he scouted several current NBA players such as DeAndre Jordan, Kris Humphries, and Khris Middleton.
Walker has been married for 27 years to Karen Walker, who works in sales. Bill and Karen have two children: Vincent, who is a junior here at UIS and is a guard for the Men’s Basketball Team, and Claire, a sophomore at the University of Missouri.
Walker has high respect from many basketball programs across the country and countless years of experience.
For instance, upon UIS’s hiring of Walker, Doug Elgin, the Missouri Valley Conference Commissioner, said that “Bill Walker comes to UIS and to his first college head coaching opportunity fully prepared to run a successful basketball program.
Coach Walker is a man of great integrity and has an extremely strong work ethic.”
“He brings strong recruiting connections and a personal history of winning at every level to Springfield, and he’ll be a tremendous ambassador for his Prairie Stars basketball program and the university.”