VIDEO: Bryan Walker Interview
JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Bryan Walker joins the men's and women's soccer programs at Carson-Newman as an assistant coach as announced Friday by athletic director Allen Morgan.
Walker makes his way to Mossy Creek by way of Tennessee Wesleyan University where the team was ranked as high as No. 22 nationally during his time there. While with the Bulldogs, he served as the assistant men's coach under Stephen Lyons who is starting his first year at the helm of the Carson-Newman men's soccer program.
"I'm really pleased Bryan took the opportunity to join us here at Carson-Newman," coach Lyons said. "He has great knowledge not only in the goalkeeping area but on the field as well, so he'll be a big help in that aspect. He's got great connections with the local community, so, recruiting wise, he'll definitely be a great asset."
The Knoxville native graduated from Bearden High School in 2007 where he played soccer all four years at goalkeeper. He earned All-State and All-Region honors as a Bulldog and played a crucial role in the team's 2006 State Championship win.
A former student-athlete at Maryville College, Walker spent all four years in the goal for the Scots as they went on to win the conference championship all four years. He was a three-time all-conference player in the Golden State Athletic Conference from 2007 to 2009.
After graduating with a BA in Outdoor Recreation, he returned to Maryville College in 2011 to get his first glimpse of coaching, serving as the assistant coach for men's and women's soccer for five years. He won a GSAC championship with the women in 2015.
"The more experience you have, the more you see players, how they respond to different things, and what motivates them, how to motivate players," Walker noted. "Obviously, at this point, the kids are all very skilled and it's just trying to get everyone clicking on the right page."
Walker has spent a number of years coaching in the state of Tennessee since his days with Maryville College. Aside from leading teams at high schools around Knoxville, he has been the assistant coach for National Premier Soccer League Knoxville Men's Force and for Women's Premier Soccer League Knoxville Lady Force. The Lady Force won back-to-back region titles in 2015 and 2016 while the Men's Force won the Eastern Region regular season championship in 2017, posting the most successful season the club has had.
As he steps into his new role with the Eagles, Walker plans to take everything he has learned through playing and coaching and translate it in a way that improves the programs at C-N.
"We want to compete for the conference championship with both teams, we want to compete nationally with both teams. That's always going to be the expectation here. That's a big driving factor in one of the reasons why I came: we want to excel, we want to succeed." Walker said. "You bring the kids in and when they perform in the classroom, they perform on the field and that all kind of clicks, you see those teams that really compete for the national levels.
"I'm just really excited to be here and to get going."