Track and Field
As one of the most underrated coaches in Division II, Sam Walker is entering his eighth season as the head coach of the Texas A&M University-Commerce men's basketball program. Walker has been an integral part of the rise of a program that went 3-26 in his first season as an assistant in 1992-93 to its 12th Lone Star Conference Tournament appearance in 2006-07.
The architect of the success reached the 100-win plateau in 2005-06 when the Lions posted an 82-80 win over Cameron. He is only the fifth coach in school history with over 100 career wins and his .570 winning percentage is one of the highest in school history.
Walker is a familiar face on the recruiting trails, where he has been recognized as one of the top recruiters in the state of Texas and in the southwest. He has developed an extensive network of locating talent, both on the high school and on the junior college levels.
In 2004-05, he led the Lions to a return in the national spotlight. Texas A&M-Commerce finished the season with a 28-5 overall mark and became the first team to win both the Lone Star Conference regular season and tournament titles in school history. Plus, the five losses were the fewest by an A&M-Commerce team matching the school record set by the 1954-55 National Championship team. Texas A&M-Commerce advanced to the finals of the NCAA Division II South Central Regional Tournament, which earned Walker coaching honors. He was named the Lone Star Conference, NCAA South Central Region and Texas Small College Coach of the Year honors; plus, he was chosen as the NCAA Division II Coach of the Month for January 2005. In 2002-03, Walker guided the Lions to their second tournament appearance and a third place finish in the Lone Star Conference North Division. Texas A&M-Commerce started that season with an 8-1 mark. In his first season as the head coach in 2000-01, the rookie head coach won the third most games by a first-year coach at Texas A&M-Commerce and his .630 winning percentage ranks fourth all-time among first-year coaches in school history.
After working eight seasons under head coach Paul Peak, he was elevated to head coach on May 5, 2000. He was named the associate head coach in August 1999 before being promoted the next season. Walker came to A&M-Commerce in August 1992, the second season of Peak's tenure, and worked hard to attain his current position. He has continued those characteristics on and off the court that have led him and his teams to success. While working with Peak, Walker and the Lions won the 1996 Lone Star Conference Championship, the 1998 Lone Star Conference South Division Championship and three-straight NCAA Division II Tournament appearances in 1995-96, 1996-97 and 1997-98. In 1996-97, the Lions won the NCAA South Central Regional Championship and advanced to the Elite Eight.
Before coming to Texas A&M-Commerce, he was an assistant coach at Brookhaven Community College in 1991-92, he also spent time as a student assistant at Sam Houston State from 1989-91 and at Navarro Junior College from 1987-89.
Walker is a 1991 graduate of Sam Houston State with a bachelor's in kinesiology and health. He earned a master's degree in health and physical education from Texas A&M-Commerce in 1993. He is married to the former Alison Minah and the proud parents of two sons, Teddy (9) and Charlie (5) and a one-year old daughter Sally.
Lions Athletics Men's Basketball