Following a disappointing 7-25 season, fans of UA Little Rock’s men’s basketball team are getting their first look at its new head coach.
Former Razorback Darrell Walker was announced as the university’s pick to lead the Trojans on March 27. He comes from back-to-back seasons as head coach at Clark Atlanta University, taking away an overall record of 45-18.
“We’re going to win some basketball games, and we’re going to do it in a fun style that’s a good product on the floor, and everybody’s going to want to come,” Walker said, at his first official press conference as head coach.
UA Little Rock Athletic Director Chasse Conque cited Walker’s background as an example of the spirit he hopes the team’s 23rd head coach will instill in players.
“A young man who was born and raised in inner-city Chicago, Coach Walker has overcome adversity. He’s persevered over the years, and he’s demonstrated grit,” Conque said. “Folks are very familiar with Coach Walker; his ties to the state of Arkansas, both as a student athlete, an NBA player, an NBA coach, and now a college coach.”
Walker began his playing career at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith, going on to three seasons at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. He was the 12th overall pick by the New York Knicks in the 1983 NBA Draft, and went on to a 10-year professional career before taking various coaching roles.
UA Little Rock Chancellor Andrew Rogerson said it was an intuitive choice to bring Walker to Little Rock.
“We selected Darrell Walker because we think his experience and dedication to our state and our city will extend that tradition of winners,” Rogerson said. “There’s no doubt he’ll bring enthusiasm and excitement to the Jack Stephens Center for our students and fans in central Arkansas.”
Walker echoed Rogerson’s sentiment that fans will continue to be the driving force behind the UA Little Rock Trojans men’s basketball program.
“We’ve got a great facility here. There’s no reason why we can’t fill it up. But it starts with the fans, [it] starts with you guys. It’s your team, I’m just here to steer it in the right direction.”