July 20, 2012
STANFORD, Calif. -
Anne Walker, who led UC Davis to three straight Big West Conference Championships and elite status in women's collegiate golf, was named the head women's golf coach at Stanford University, it was announced on Friday.
Walker replaces former longtime Cardinal coach Caroline O'Connor who resigned in May after 17 seasons. Interim Athletics Director Nona Richardson said a national search for Walker's replacement will begin immediately.
"It is with a heavy heart that I say goodbye to UC Davis," Walker said. "I will always treasure my four years here. I have loved getting to know the Aggie community and being part of the athletic department. The women's golf team is on track to be a national contender and I'm excited to watch the program as it evolves."
Walker joined UC Davis in 2008, enjoying an impressive four-year run which included winning the last three conference titles, representation by either individuals or the team in the last four NCAA Championships, and three consecutive Big West Coach of the Year honors. The Aggies won eight tournaments during her Aggie career, have been ranked as high as 13th nationally and have been mainstays in the top 30 in recent years. Additionally, two players have participated in the U.S. Open.
The Aggies have flourished in the Big West under Walker. Senior Demi Runas has twice been named the Big West Player of the Year, Beverly Vatananugulkit was named the 2012 Big West Freshman of the Year, and all five starters earned all-conference recognition this spring.
"Anne was able to make an immediate and continued impact in our program, not just as a phenomenal coach, but also as a well-respected individual," Richardson said. "Her contributions as an Aggie representative are applauded and I know that she will represent the Stanford Cardinal in that same vein. Our unfortunate loss is their absolute gain. We appreciate Anne's many contributions."
Walker was a three-time captain and All-Pac-10 player at Cal, joining the Golden Bears' staff as an assistant coach after graduating in 2002. She was later elevated to associate head coach in 2007 before joining the Aggies.
UC Davis returns its entire lineup for the upcoming 2012-13 season while also welcoming a talented freshman class. The Aggies will open their year at the University of New Mexico on Sept. 17.