Former MLS Star Jonny Walker Joins Memphis Coaching Staff
July 31, 2009
Memphis - Memphis native and longtime professional goalkeeping star Jonny Walker has been named goalkeeper coach for the University of Memphis women's soccer team, head coach Brooks Monaghan announced Friday.
"We are extremely fortunate to add Jonny Walker to our staff here at the University of Memphis," Monaghan said. "The playing experience he brings is second to none. His experience playing for teams in Major League Soccer, Chile, and the national team is something that is very hard to find."
"The team is in for a treat, the goalkeepers especially, having somebody like him with his experience working with them," Monaghan added. "Obviously it's tough to lose somebody like (former coach) Sebastian (Vecchio), who leaves big shoes to fill".
Walker brings with him more than a decade of record-setting professional experience, including becoming the first American soccer player to establish a successful soccer career in South America (Chile) and completing two different stints in MLS. Walker's most recent professional stop was with the MLS's Columbus Crew, where he won the team's 2005 Defensive Player of the Year Award after finishing second in MLS with a GAA of 1.12. From 2003-2005, Walker played with MLS's NY/NJ MetroStars, where, in 2003, he became the third goalkeeper in MLS history to finish a season with a sub-1.00 GAA with a league-best 0.95 GAA.
In 2004, Walker started and played three matches for the U.S. National Team, including a 1-0 shutout over Mexico. He was a member of every U.S. National Team camp during the year, including all but one World Cup Qualifying match.
Walker played one season collegiately for the University of Louisville before beginning his professional career with the Memphis Jackals of the United States Indoor Soccer League.
Walker is very involved with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, giving free soccer clinics to kids who raise the most money through their soccer club for the Soccer Kicks for Cancer program. In 2005, Walker was named the Ambassador for the State of Tennessee for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
"Jonny is somebody that I have known since we were kids when we played together and that loyalty is very important to me as the head coach," Monaghan said. "We feel like we have hired the right person to keep this program moving in the right direction. We are ecstatic to have him and welcome him with open arms. We are very excited to get the season going and let him work with the team."
Walker graduated from Louisville in 2007. He and his wife, Shauna, have one son, Seth.