Ryan Walker was recently appointed the new varsity boys basketball coach at North Myrtle Beach High School. Walker replaces Darcie Vincent who moved to Western Carolina University after one year of coaching at North Myrtle Beach.
I met Walker in his new office near the gym as he settles into his new position. He stated that he grew up in a basketball family. His father played at Wake Forest and he played at Division I and II schools before beginning a coaching career.
“I started coaching right out of college, first as a graduate assistant at a Division II school and then after one year I was an assistant coach at USC Upstate. After four and one half years I left there and began teaching and coaching, eventually spending three years as an assistant boys coach at Dorman High School. After Dorman won the state championship, I moved to Laurens High School for two years until I took this position,” said Walker.
Walker stated that his background let him see several sides to coaching and how programs are built and that the North Myrtle Beach position attracted him. “I have heard a lot of great things about the sports programs here and the support given by the community. The people here are phenomenal, the programs are good and the athletic department is moving in the right direction, with athletic director Joe Quigley positioning staff for success,” Walker said.
Walker stated that his wife and four children were looking forward to moving to their new home. Walker also stated he had a lot of work ahead. “I really haven’t had a lot of time to work with the guys. We can’t practice now, just work on strength and conditioning. I’m using that time to get to know them and them me. I have to introduce our style of play and make sure there is stability, accountability and discipline as we move forward. I really want to let them see my vision and work on developing the whole person,” Walker said.
Walker also talked of the importance of the entire basketball program. “It is very important that I develop the varsity and junior varsity as part of an entire program with continuity throughout. I also will be trying to get the community and teachers and staff to get behind us as we begin. We have to build relationships between members of the team and parents and staff to make our program really be a success,” Walker said.
With the new school year about to start Walker felt he was “just getting started. We will be working on strength and conditioning until the middle of September. We will have 20 contact days for workouts and teaching time, setting up an offensive and defensive identity and trying to establish a team culture. Our first real practices don’t start until November with our first game in December.”
“I want to get to know the kids off the court as well as on the court. I want them to learn how to play and be successful and how to act in school and in the community. I want them to learn to be accountable for what they do both on and off the court. These are good kids. I’m really excited. It should be a lot of fun,” Walker concluded.