CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University announced Tuesday that head softball coach Kirk Walker has resigned to take a position with UCLA, his alma mater.
“I have been very fortunate to be a part of Beaver Nation and the OSU Softball program for a very large part of my professional career,” Walker said. “I am very proud of the state of the program, the athletic department and the university.”
In 18 seasons, Walker compiled a 594-490-3 record. His teams finished with 25-plus wins in 14 of the last 16 seasons and won at least 40 games eight times. All 10 of the Beavers’ postseason births have come under Walker’s watch.
His 2012 group reclaimed its spot in the national eye. The Beavers finished 36-23 and earned a trip to the NCAA Regionals. One of the most potent offensive teams in school history, the Beavers set school records for both RBI (269) and runs scored (301).
“It was not an easy decision to walk away from the program after 18 years, but I am very excited about the opportunity to return to my home athletically at UCLA and back to my home in Los Angeles near close friends and family,” he said.
In 1995, Walker took over a struggling program that had not had a winning season since 1984 and was 61 games under .500 overall. That quickly changed, though, as the Beavers rattled off nine consecutive winning seasons starting in 1999, qualifying for the NCAA Tournament each year.
“This is a special opportunity for Coach Walker to return to his alma mater,” OSU Director of Athletics Bob De Carolis said. “Coach Walker deserves a lot of credit in guiding a program that was not successful into a national power that has had tremendous achievements. He raised the level of the program in many respects and his successor will greatly benefit from Coach Walker’s efforts. I wish him the best in his new role at UCLA.”
Walker also led the Beavers to the NCAA Women’s College World Series in 2006.
“It has been an absolute honor and joy to be a part of building and maintaining something we are all proud of,” Walker said.
OSU will name Walker’s replacement in the near future.