Joshua S. Walters, Sr. returns for his fourth season as an assistant coach at UCLA. In his first season in 2013, Walters helped lead UCLA to its first-ever NCAA women’s soccer championship and was named the NSCAA Pacific Region Assistant Coach of the Year. In 2015, he was the recruiting coordinator for the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class.
Walters, who brings 10 years of Division I experience to the Bruin staff, came to UCLA from Central Florida, where he served as the program’s recruiting coordinator in 2012. He helped lead the Knights to their first Conference USA Tournament championship and to a school and conference record for shutouts with 15.
Walters was an assistant coach with the women's soccer program at Utah State from 2007-10, serving as the recruiting coordinator and first assistant responsible for general attacking shape, set pieces, recruiting visits, team travel, video analysis, camps and scheduling. Along with his duties for Utah State, Walters also earned positions on both the Region IV and Utah Olympic Development Program (ODP) staffs. In his first two years at Utah State, Walters was instrumental in helping the Aggies increase their goal total from 18 in 2006 to 40 in 2007.
Walters began his collegiate coaching career as an assistant coach at Houston, working primarily with the defenders and goalkeepers. Under his guidance, Houston's goalkeepers posted the lowest goals against average in school history (1.10) and set a school record with five shutouts in 2005, his first season with the Cougars. In 2006, UH goalkeeper Shelby Scott posted the second-highest single-season total of shutouts (4) while earning a spot on the Israeli National Team.
Before his stint at Houston, Walters served 12 months as a First Lieutenant with Brigade S2 (Military Intelligence) of the Florida National Guard during Operation Enduring Freedom V in Bagram, Afghanistan. While in Afghanistan, Walters set up and directed a soccer clinic, as well as a series of games for Afghan youths (Read more here). He later made a presentation on his experiences to the 2005 NSCAA Convention and was awarded the NSCAA Honorary All-American Award.
During his military deployment, Walters received the Bronze Star for Valor and Service, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and the Humanitarian Service Medal.
Prior to his military duties, Walters was the head coach at Lawton Chiles High School in Tallahassee from 2000-05. During Walters' first stint in Tallahassee, his teams received the NSCAA/adidas Team Academic Award for three consecutive seasons. Walters was also head coach of the Tallahassee United Futbol Club in 2002. Walters received his associate's degree of the arts from Marion Military Institute in 1998. He captained the soccer team and also earned MVP honors.
After graduating from MMI, he was commissioned as a signal officer in the Florida National Guard. Walters' coaching career started in Tallahassee at Godby High School, where he coached from 1998-2000. Additionally, he was the head coach for the Top of Florida Soccer Club until 2001.
A 2004 graduate of Columbia Southern University, Walters received his bachelor of arts in sports management and graduated cum laude. Walters holds an NSCAA Premier Diploma and NSCAA Goalkeeper Advance National license.
Walters, a native of Winston-Salem, N.C., is married to Amy Lucas, a former Ole Miss soccer player. They have three young children, Joshua Jr. ("J.J."), Rylan and Avonlea.