July 3, 2005
Columbus, Ohio - Lori Walker, Ohio State women's soccer head coach, has signed a new contract through the 2010 season. Associate athletics director Bill Myles announced the signing Saturday. In the last three seasons, Walker has guided the Buckeyes to three consecutive NCAA tournament appearances and a pair of Big Ten tournament championships.
"Lori has advanced tremendously as a head coach in her time at Ohio State," Myles said. "She has a great background as an outstanding player at the collegiate level, a vast knowledge of the game and she is an enthusiastic leader. She has a way about her that makes young women want to excel. We look forward to Coach Walker continuing to elevate our women's soccer program into one of the elite teams in the nation each season."
In 2004, Walker directed Ohio State to a 19-4-3 record, the best finish in program history. On their way to the national quarterfinals, the Buckeyes shattered numerous records and put together a 13-game unbeaten streak and a nine-game winning streak. The 2004 team also established all-time highs in shutouts (13), goals (62) and assists (63).
Walker's squad excelled in front of the home crowd last season, boasting a 15-1-1 record at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, with the only loss coming to UCLA in the national semifinal. A 2-0 victory over No. 3-ranked Penn State in the Big Ten tournament championship game highlighted the 15 home triumphs, as did OSU's 1-0 win over No. 7-ranked Tennessee in the NCAA tournament "Sweet 16" match.
Under Walker, Ohio State's academic success has matched its winning percentage on the field. For the second straight season, 13 Buckeyes earned Academic All-Big Ten status to help Ohio State win its fifth consecutive National Soccer Coaches Association of America Academic Team award in 2004.
"Since arriving in Columbus, it has been my vision and investment to make the Ohio State women's soccer program a respected powerhouse," Walker, who recorded her 100th career victory in 2004, said. "The university and athletics department continue to support the foundation for growth and success of our goals. Our world class facilities coupled with the administration's commitment to people have always been deeply respected Buckeye traditions. I am honored to continue to lead the women's soccer program, to serve this department and soccer community." Walker is set to begin her ninth season at Ohio State. She has amassed a 92-65-12 (.576) in eight campaigns with the Buckeyes and holds an all-time mark of 105-88-13 (.539) in 11 years of Division I coaching. Prior to Ohio State, Walker coached at Kansas for two seasons.
A 1994 graduate of the University of North Carolina, Walker was a member of three national championship teams, three Atlantic Coast Conference championship squads and lost only one match in her four-year collegiate career. She was the starting goalkeeper in 1989 and ended her playing career in 1991with a career goals-against average of 0.41, allowing only 10 scores in 2,206 minutes of play. Walker holds the NCAA tournament record with an amazing 0.00 goals against average. She also excelled in the classroom and was named to the ACC Academic Honor Roll three times.
Walker continues to stay active in additional capacities outside of coaching. In August 2004, Walker served as the women's soccer color commentator for NBC's coverage of the Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.
The Buckeyes get the 2005 season underway August 26 at Kent State. The home opener is set for Sept. 11 vs. Kentucky at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.