Jeff Walker named head coach
By Dave Loveton, sports information
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Former LMU star has lots of experience
Jeff Walker was named baseball coach at Santa Barbara City College on Thursday and he’s excited about his first collegiate head coaching job.
“SBCC is a special place and I’m honored to have this opportunity,” said Walker, who earned all-West Coast Conference honors at Loyola Marymount and spent the last three years as an assistant coach for the Lions. “It’s been my lifelong dream to be a head coach at the community college level. I’m a teacher and developing solid student-athletes is the No. 1 goal.”
Walker was the head coach of the Peninsula Oilers in the prestigious Alaska Summer League in 2009 and spent two years as an assistant baseball coach at Ohlone College in Fremont. In his time at Ohlone, the Renegades led the state in stolen bases, qualified for the state playoffs and were one of the top hitting clubs in California.
He was the baseball coach and athletic director at Saratoga High for five years (2002-06). In 2005, he was named Central Coast Section Athletic Director of the Year after overseeing the fundraising and development of the school's athletic fields. He also worked as a scout for the Colorado Rockies and spent four summers coaching in NCAA-sanctioned leagues. He’s coached more than 60 players who have been drafted or signed by professional baseball teams.
“He’s a perfect fit for us in terms of his educational background, teaching, administrative work and coaching,” said SBCC athletic director Ryan Byrne. “He’s a former athletic director who really understands community college policy and procedures.
“He’s coached at the high school, community college and 4-year levels and has had success at each one. He really has the total package and will do a great job in developing our student-athletes both academically and athletically.”
Walker was an all-section outfielder at St. Francis High in Mountain View. He went on to earn all-state honors at Canada College in Redwood City and still holds the record for homers in a season (18). His Canada teams won two conference titles and reached the State Final Four in 1998.
He played two years for Loyola Marymount, earning all-conference honors and helping the Lions capture a WCC title in 2000. Walker got his B.A. from Loyola Marymount in history and has Master’s degrees in Education and Exercise Science.
“He’s a tireless worker and that will transfer to any team he coaches,” said USC baseball coach Frank Cruz, who coached Walker at Loyola. “I expect Santa Barbara to be in the running for a state championship in the near future.“
SBCC had one of its best seasons in 2011, capturing the WSC North title with a 15-5 record (24-17 overall) and advancing to the Southern Cal Super Regional for the first time in school history.
“Pitching and defense will be our top priority,” said Walker. “Team chemistry is also important. Offensively, we want to put pressure on the opponent.
“Academics is another key factor. I want our student-athletes to have a positive experience and reach their full potential.”