Despite ESPN report, 'nothing's been signed' between UALR, Darrell Walker

By: Brooks Kubena
Published: Tuesday, March 27, 2018
Clark Atlanta coach Darrell Walker celebrates after winning the SIAC Basketball Tournament on Saturday, March 4, 2017, in Birmingham, Ala.
Photo by Clark Atlanta University, via Twitter
Clark Atlanta coach Darrell Walker celebrates after winning the SIAC Basketball Tournament on Saturday, March 4, 2017, in Birmingham, Ala.

Despite an ESPN reporter's tweet about a possible new head coach at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Chancellor Andrew Rogerson told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on Monday afternoon that "nothing's been signed."

UALR Athletic Director Chasse Conque later said in a text message that there were "no other updates" outside of Rogerson's comments.

Jeff Borzello, who covers college basketball for ESPN, tweeted Sunday night that Darrell Walker is expected to be hired as the next head coach of the Trojans men's basketball team.

Walker, a former guard at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, has gone 45-18 in two seasons as the head coach at Clark Atlanta University, which finished its season March 10 in a 72-61 loss to Claflin in the first round of the NCAA Division II Tournament.

Walker did not respond to phone calls made by the Democrat-Gazette.

Walker would take over a UALR men's program that has gone 22-42 in the two seasons since reaching the second round of the NCAA Tournament during the 2015-2016 season.

Two-year Coach Wes Flanigan was fired March 9 after the Trojans finished the season 7-25, which was the most single-season losses in program history.

Born in Chicago, Walker was a consensus All-American guard at Arkansas and played for former Razorbacks Coach Eddie Sutton from 1980-1983.

Walker was drafted by the New York Knicks with the 12th overall pick in the 1983 NBA Draft, and he had a 10-year playing career with the Knicks, Denver Nuggets, Washington Bullets, Detroit Pistons and Chicago Bulls. He won an NBA championship with the Bulls in his final season in 1992-1993.

Over the next two decades, Walker was an assistant and head coach in several professional basketball leagues.

He compiled a 41-90 record as an NBA head coach, where he coached the Toronto Raptors in the 1996-1997 and 1997-1998 seasons and the Washington Wizards in the 1999-2000 season.

Walker also coached the WNBA's Washington Mystics during the 2000 season.

Walker told the Democrat-Gazette in early March that when he was let go as a New York Knicks' assistant in 2004, he hoped to become a college coach.

It was a major factor in Walker completing his bachelor's degree in human resources management at Arkansas in 2012.

But Walker said he kept hearing the same rejection when he interviewed for college jobs.

"I had a lot of athletic directors tell me, 'You've got a great resume, but you've never coached in college,' " Walker said. "I had coached at the highest level in the NBA, but that didn't seem to mean anything to anybody.

"A lot of times I heard, 'Well, you've got to learn the [NCAA] rules. What I said to myself was, 'You've got guys that have been coaching for 20 years and they're still breaking the rules.' I said I would never do anything without calling my compliance guy if I wasn't 100 percent sure.

"It was frustrating for a little while, but I got past it."

Clark Atlanta hired Walker on April 20, 2016.

Sports on 03/27/2018

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