Catawba College football coach resigns from team

Catawba College football coach resigns from team

Curtis Walker began playing for the Catawba Indians in 1988 and worked his way up the coaching ranks after graduating.

CATAWBA COUNTY, NC — Curtis Walker is all over the Catawba College football record books and was there for some big moments across the team’s history.

He was there to set a team record for tackles in a game in 1991. He was there when the team won three consecutive conference titles from 1999 to 2001. He was there when Catawba College made a run in the NCAA playoffs in 2015.

In pretty much everything Catawba College’s football team has done in the last three decades, Walker has been there.

But his long stint with the team is coming to a close. Walker announced his resignation this week and will step down from his role as head coach of Catawba College.

Walker’s resignation comes after a disappointing 1-10 finish to the 2022 season. Catawba College’s only win of the season came in Week 1 against Livingstone. The team was outplayed in just about every contest this year and lost Walker’s final game 61-23 to Carson-Newman.

The rough times do not summarize Walker’s tenure with the team, though. Catawba College staff expressed gratitude for all he accomplished with the team.

“We are grateful to Coach Walker for his many contributions to Catawba College and to our football program,” said Michelle Caddigan, Catawba’s Director of Athletics. “I am excited for him to have the opportunity to spend more time with his family and watch his sons compete in football at a very high level.”

Walker enrolled at Catawba College in 1988 and played for the school’s football team as a defender when the college still competed in the NAIA.

In 1991, Walker was named the team’s Most Valuable Player and served as team captain during his senior year in 1992. Walker earned All-American honors in three of his four years on the team.

During a game against Wofford in 1991, Walker recorded a team-record 25 tackles. In that same season, Walker recovered six fumbles, also a team record.

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Walker graduated from Catawba College with a degree in sociology. He coached at Salisbury High School for one year before returning to Catawba College to be an assistant coach.

Walker was named the team’s defensive coordinator in 2001. In his first year leading the defense, Catawba College allowed the least points in all of NCAA Division II football. That year, the team won the South Atlantic Conference (SAC) and made it all the way to the semifinals of the NCAA Division II playoffs.

In 2002, Walker left to become a defensive coordinator for Coastal Carolina. He stayed there for a decade before leaving to be an assistant coach with Western Carolina for one season.

Walker returned to Catawba College to be the team’s head coach in 2012. Catawba College’s best seasons with Walker as head coach came in 2015, when he was named SAC Coach of the Year and the school made its first NCAA playoffs appearance since 2001, and in 2017 when the team finished 9-2.

Overall, Walker compiled a 50-61 record with Catawba College as head coach.

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“I didn’t realize what an impact Catawba College would have on my life when I arrived on campus in 1988,” said Walker. “I am forever grateful for the relationships built, friendships made, and opportunities provided over the past 34 years. My love for the Catawba College football program is why I returned to campus, and also why I feel now is the right time to leave.”

Catawba College will now conduct a national search for the team’s next head coach.

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