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Kirk Walker leaves Oregon State, accepts softball coach job at UCLA

Oregon State head softball coach Kirk Walker, one of the very few out Div. 1 head coaches, has left his position and joined the softball staff at UCLA. From UCLA's press release:

Walker returns to UCLA after spending the previous 18 seasons as the head softball coach at Oregon State. The all-time winningest coach in program history and the fifth-winningest in Oregon State history regardless of sport, Walker posted a 594-490-3 record (.548 winning percentage) and eight seasons with at least 40 wins. The Beavers made the postseason 10 times with Walker at the helm, including the 2012 campaign, which saw Oregon State post a 36-23 mark and set team records for runs batted in (269) and runs scored (301). Under Walker's tutelage, the Beavers earned 79 All-Pac-10/12 honors, 28 All-Region accolades and 10 All-American awards.

"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for me to return home professionally and personally," Walker said. "UCLA has always been my home and my ties to Westwood make this very easy. The chance to bring my partner, Randy, and daughter, Ava, back to Los Angeles to live in close proximity to my family is incredible. I want to thank Coach Inouye-Perez, (athletic director) Dan Guerrero and (senior woman's administrator) Petrina Long for making this a reality. I look forward to continuing the Bruin traditions I was fortunate to be a part of early in my career, and help my Bruin family, Coach Inouye-Perez and Coach Lisa Fernandez achieve competitive greatness for the softball program on and off the field."

While Walker will no longer be a head coach, he sees opportunity in joining the most-storied college softball program in the nation. Walker joins a program that has won an NCAA-highest 11 national championships, three of which came in the last 10 years; The Bruins have been to the College World Series 25 of the 31 years it's been held.

Walker graduated from UCLA in 1988 and has family in the Los Angeles area. He moves with his partner, Randy, and their daughter, Eva.