Fort Gibson Coaching Legend Jerry Walker Steps Down After 22 Years

Friday, June 16th 2017, 4:41 pm
By: News On 6

Instead of following the yellow brick road, in Fort Gibson, you follow the tiger paws. It'll lead you to the home of the Lady Tigers and its famous girls' basketball coach, Jerry Walker.

"Honestly, at the end of the day, I think I can fairly say that I'm coaching at the best basketball program in the state of Oklahoma,” said Walker.

He’s led his teams to three gold balls and five silver.

"There's a fine line between winning and losing,” he stated. “We've lost five; we've won three. There's no bad teams in the finals."

It's no secret Coach Walker is the best of the best.

"I feel like we've accomplished everything I wanted to accomplish,” he said. “I feel like the cupboard's definitely not empty."

But now, Walker takes a step away from the court and into a new office as the principal and athletic director at Porter High School.

"I'm a little bit taken aback of all the things I need to learn,” he said. “But, you know, I never coached girls until I got here. I never coached a fast-pitch game until I got here."

He said the decision wasn't easy.

"The last day I went home and took my whistle off, it took me about four hours to take it off because I knew it would be the last time,” he recalled.

Coach Walker said after 22 years at the helm of a historic program, it's time to step away.

"If it wasn't for the fact that it's "family time," time for me now and my family, I'd be here ‘til I'm 58 years through here,” he said.

Coach Walker says they have a saying at Fort Gibson: "Once a Lady Tiger, always a Lady Tiger." He said that applies to coaches, too.