Kirk Walker returned to his alma mater on Aug. 7, 2012 to begin his second stint on the UCLA softball coaching staff. Walker, who was the head softball coach at Oregon State for the last 18 seasons, previously was a member of the Bruin staff from 1984-94.
"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for me to return home professionally and personally," Walker said. "UCLA has always been my home and my ties to Westwood make this very easy. The chance to bring my partner, Randy, and daughter, Ava, back to Los Angeles to live in close proximity to my family is incredible. I want to thank Coach Inouye-Perez, (athletic director) Dan Guerrero and (senior woman's administrator) Petrina Long for making this a reality. I look forward to continuing the Bruin traditions I was fortunate to be a part of early in my career, and help my Bruin family, Coach Kelly Inouye-Perez and Coach Lisa Fernandez achieve competitive greatness for the softball program on and off the field."
"The return of Kirk Walker to the UCLA softball team is an incredible addition to our program," Inouye-Perez said. "His coaching accomplishments speak for themselves, as does his ability to make those around him better."
Walker returns to UCLA after spending nearly two decades at Oregon State. The all-time winningest coach in program history and the fifth-winningest in Oregon State history regardless of sport, Walker posted a 594-490-3 record (.548 winning percentage) and eight seasons with at least 40 wins. The Beavers made the postseason 10 times with Walker at the helm, including the 2012 campaign, which saw Oregon State post a 36-23 mark and set team records for runs batted in (269) and runs scored (301). Under Walker's tutelage, the Beavers earned 79 All-Pac-10/12 honors, 28 All-Region accolades and 10 All-American awards.
In 2006, Walker led the Beavers to their first-ever appearance in the Women's College World Series, as OSU posted a school-record, 28-game winning streak and reached No. 5 in the national rankings with a 43-16 overall mark. In 2005, he guided Oregon State (43-16) to its first-ever Pac-10 Championship (and the first regular-season Pac-10 title for any OSU women's sports program), earning Conference Coach of the Year honors for the second time (1999). The most wins in a season for Oregon State came in 1999, when the Beavers had 47 victories and went to the postseason for the first time in program history. Along with his Pac-10 COY award, Walker's staff was named the Speedline Pacific Region Co-Coaching Staff of the Year.
Walker has also earned coaching acclaim away from the collegiate level. He was named one of 12 coaches to form the USA Softball National Team Coaches Pool through the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. Walker served as an assistant for the USA Elite Team for three summers (2002-04), and also assisted the USA Red National Team during the summer of 2001.
Walker spent 11 years at UCLA from 1984-94. The Bruins won National Championships six times with Walker on the staff (`84, `85, `88, `89, `90 and `92). He earned his bachelor's degree in kinesiology from UCLA in 1988.
The Woodland Hills, Calif. native has a daughter, Ava, with his partner of 16 years, Randy Baltimore. Walker earned a bachelor's degree in kinesiology from UCLA in 1988.