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Falcon football looks to move forward under Coach Walker

September 23, 2011

Starting his first year as the head football coach at UW-River Falls, Matt Walker, has his hands full. Coming all the way from Greencastle, Indiana, Walker has a couple years of diverse coaching under his belt with some specific goals for the team.

Walker, 33, was the head football coach at De Pauw University from 2006-2009 with a record of 22-8. His teams finished 13-7 in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference and placed second in the final conference standing in 2007 and 2008.

Senior running back, Taylor Edwards, said Walker has many goals for the team.

“Ideally every coach wants to win a national championship,” said Edwards. “But coach also understands that this year is a rebuilding year for our team.”

Edwards was just recently named on the 2011 Inside Wisconsin Sports All-State Team.

“I met coach Walker last spring when he first arrived to UWRF,” said Edwards. “I could tell he was an upfront guy and wanted to do a lot for our football team right away.” Edwards said the biggest team goal that coach Walker wants the team to improve on is their mental game. “I think he wants our mental game to change, he wants us to know we have to potential to do great things,” said Edwards. “He wants us to play like winners.”

According to the UWRF sports information website, Walker has a diverse background in coaching not only football, but baseball as well. He was the head baseball coach at De Pauw from 2001-2009 and led the Tigers to five conference divisional championships and to a NCAA regional berth in 2001. He led the Tigers to the most wins in a single season three times (2004, 2005, 2008). He was also named conference coach of the year in 2001. Walker coached a little semi-professional baseball as well. From 1997-2005 he was the head coach and general manager of a semi- professional baseball team in Crawford, Indiana.

Walker earned a sports science undergraduate degree from De Pauw in 1999. He then went on to earn his master’s degree in physical education from Indiana State in 2001.

At De Pauw, Walker was a quarterback from 1997-1999 and also a baseball pitcher who was named to the 1999 All-SCAC team.

Walker was an instructor of kinesiology at DePauw and has teaching responsibilities in the UWRF health and human performance department.

Walker is replacing John O’Grady who was with the program for 37 years dating all the way back to his days as a Falcon linebacker. The other finalists for the position were Aaron Vicko, UW-Stevens Point offensive coordinator; Joel Dettwiler, defensive coordinator at Wartburg College in Iowa; Vincent Kehres, assistant coach at Mount Unior College; and Kevin Bullis, assistant coach at UW-Whitewater.

Walker has a wife, Jana, and two daughters; Kraly, five, and Hudson, nine months.