In three years as the head men’s and women’s tennis coach at Tennessee State University, Monroe Walker III has laid the foundation to build the Tigers into a respectable program in the Ohio Valley Conference. The 2017-18 season will mark his fourth year at the helm of TSU.
In Walker’s second year in 2015-16, he helped the Tigers put together one of their best seasons as the women’s team posted a 9-11 record with the men compiling a 9-14 mark. During the season, TSU’s women’s program won its first match since 2012 and defeated an OVC opponent for the first time since 2001. The men’s team also won its first OVC match since 2002.
Under Walker’s guidance, Daniel Bernal became TSU’s second-ever All-OVC honoree, earning Second Team accolades in 2016. The men’s team also won the OVC Sportsmanship Award for the 2015-16 season.
The Tigers followed up with another strong campaign in 2016-17 that included records of 9-8 for the women and 7-10 for the men. TSU’s men’s squad qualified for the OVC Tournament for the first time since 2003.
Walker is in his second stint at TSU after serving as a volunteer assistant with the program during the fall of 2011. Prior to being named Head Coach at TSU on Jan. 26, 2015, Walker experience success as the head men’s and women’s coach at Graceland University from the spring of 2012 until the fall of 2015.
He earned three consecutive HAAC titles for the Graceland men's team. He also has hosted the ITA Fall Regional (2013, 2014) and HAAC Conference Tournament in his final year with the program.
In 2014, Walker led both the men's and women's team to the HAAC Conference titles and automatic berths into the National Tournament - a program first for Graceland. The men's and women's team both won a round at the National Tournament. It was the first time in Graceland women's history to win a match at Nationals.
At Graceland, Walker coached the highest ranked women’s team in school history (12th), highest ranked women in school history (8th), highest ranked doubles team in school history (5th) and the first woman All-American in tennis history for the school. He also helped set a school record with 15 wins in a row in addition to coaching the first doubles team to win a regional tournament.
Individually, Walker aided Birkir Gunnarrsson to a berth in the National Tournament. Walker also helped 3 student athletes earn ITA All-American accolades including Birkir Gunnarsson who finished as the No. 11 ranked single.
Under Walker’s tutelage, it was the first time in Graceland history that two men’s players earned First Team All-America honors. He also coached Graceland’s first doubles team to win a men’s doubles regional and his team was the first in conference history to have six players earn All-Conference accolades. Together with the women’s team, Walker was the first coach in Graceland history to take two teams to nationals in the same year and win a match.
As a high school player, Walker was top-five athlete in the state of Tennessee and a top-50 player in the Southern section in addition to being a Billie Jean King National Tournament participant.
Out of high school, Walker signed to play college tennis at Xavier University (La.). At Xavier, he earned doubles conference champion as a freshman and finished in the top 50 in the NAIA single's rankings.
Additionally, he won freshman of the year and the conference championship his senior year. Walker won over 100 matches in singles and doubles while at Xavier.
Walker graduated from Xavier University in 2011 with his Bachelor of Arts in Marketing and Management before earning his Master’s degree in Sports Administration from Tennessee State University in 2014.
MONROE WALKER III'S TSU WOMEN'S RECORD
MONROE WALKER III'S TSU MEN'S RECORD
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Monroe Walker III