Walker returns to coach Southwestern Randolph in soccer

Founder of Cougars program is coach again

ASHEBORO – Southwestern Randolph has a new soccer coach for its boys’ and girls’ teams.

No introduction is necessary.

Jimmy Walker is back in charge of the Cougars.

The man who started the soccer programs at the school is returning for what’s a third go-around with the boys’ team and a second stint with the girls’ team.

“I’m familiar with everyone over there,” Walker said. “I’ve always been connected. And this is a chance to coach my daughter now.”

Walker, 53, takes over for boys’ coach Brian Bagley, who stepped aside because of work-related conflicts, athletics director Chris Chapman said. Now-former girls’ coach Zack Brown left for a teaching position at Trinity, his alma mater.

Walker was at the helm when programs were launched in the 1995-96 school year, directing both teams through the 2002 spring season for girls. He returned to guide the boys’ team from 2014-18, winning conference championships in the final two years of that stretch.

He has remained involved as a coach with the district’s middle school teams and helped with other off-field areas of the varsity programs.

Walker said he has compiled more than 150 victories with the two varsity teams combined.

Yet last year, the Cougars went 4-13 on the boys’ side.

“I wanted to see the program back where it’s supposed to be,” he said, pointing to a strong incoming freshman class as potentially providing a foundation for success.

Walker, a graduate of Southwestern Randolph, working with the middle school teams gave him insight into the possibilities for the teams. Macy Walker will be a junior on the 2023 team. The girls’ team had a 14-7-1 record this year.

“I’m looking forward to getting back out there,” Coach Walker said. “The batteries are charged.”

By Bob Sutton