Former Tiger taking over Horned Frog women's program.
Women's Tennis head coach will coach some of the top American collegiate players in six tournaments this summer
Salisbury, O'Hare and Glennon all earn post-season honors.
Lady Tigers tie single-season program record with sixth win over ranked opponent
Lady Tigers push home win streak to 38 matches
The men's and women's tennis team suited up for their annual costume day practice last week to close out their fall semester practices. Watch what you missed right here on the Memphis Tiger Network.
Eye of the Tiger is back and this time you get a chance to go behind the scenes of a women's tennis team practice as they take to the courts at the Racquet Club of Memphis.
Jeff Brightwell sits down with women's tennis head coach Lee Taylor Walker to talk about the Tigers trip to Houston last week for the C-USA Championship tournament. They also talk in depth about Memphis' chances at an at-large bid into their first ever NCAA Tournament.
Episode 71: Jeff Brightwell sits down with Head Coach Lee Taylor Walker and recaps Senior Day vs. UTEP and Southern Miss, the presentation for the seniors, and previews upcoming match at #16 Notre Dame. The Memphis Women's tennis team were 14-0 at home this season.
Episode 53: Jeff Brightwell sits down with Head Coach Lee Taylor Walker and talks about previous matches, current home winning streak, and upcoming matches this month vs. #60 Kansas State, #70 Columbia, and #12 Virginia.
The 2013-14 campaign marks Lee Taylor Walker's seventh season as head coach of the University of Memphis women's tennis program. The 2013 Wilson/ITA Ohio Valley Region Coach of the Year has made significant improvements to the program in his seven years at Memphis, leading the Lady Tigers to their first NCAA Tournament appearance and a 39-match home win streak, while compiling a 96-74 career record.
In 2014, Walker helped Memphis to a 14-9 record and a final ranking of No. 41 in the country. The Lady Tigers, who advanced to their third-straight conference tournament semifinal match, defeated six nationally-ranked programs during the season to tie a program record. Memphis' biggest win of the season came with a 4-3 victory at home over No. 26 Pepperdine to continue the squad's school record home win streak to 36 matches.
Memphis reached as high as No. 27 in the ITA poll and never dropped below No. 45 during the 2014 season. A total of three Lady Tigers appeared in the ITA rankings during the season as senior Stefanie Mikesz came in at No. 99 in the nation, while Alyssa Hibberd and Caroline Wegner climbed as high as No. 38 in the country in doubles.
Freshmen Marta Morga and Anki Wind earned postseason honors in 2014 after capturing American Athletic Conference All-Conference accolades after leading the team in singles wins during dual play and on the season.
Walker guided the Lady Tigers to unprecedented success in the 2013 season with the program's first trip to the NCAA Tournament and a win in the first round of postseason play. Memphis entered the NCAA Tournament as the No. 3 seed in the Tuscaloosa Regional before defeating the No. 2 seed Florida State in dominant fashion, 4-1, to advance to the second round. Memphis finished its historic season at 18-7 and a national ranking of No. 32 after a 4-0 loss to No. 9 Alabama in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The 18 wins for the 2013 team tied for the fifth-most wins in a single season in program history.
Memphis achieved a program-high ranking of No. 22 on Feb. 26, 2013, after a 5-2 win over No. 16 Virginia, beating the highest-ranked opponent in program history. The Lady Tigers posted six wins over ranked teams during the season with three victories over teams in the top 25 (Virginia, Notre Dame and Florida State).
Memphis also received much recognition in Conference USA as six Lady Tigers earned C-USA accolades, tying a conference record. Skylar Kuykendall was named C-USA Freshman of the Year, becoming the first Lady Tiger to earn the honor. The Lady Tigers also earned regional accolades as Courtney Collins was named the ITA Ohio Valley Region Senior of the Year and Tiffany Welcher was honored with the region's Cissie Leary Award for Sportsmanship.
Walker helped Collins advance to her second-straight NCAA Singles Championships and a season-ending ranking of No. 50. Collins also finished the season No. 79 in doubles with Kelly Gray while the duo of Stefanie Mikesz and Caroline Wegner ranked No. 64 at the end of the season. Regionally, all eight Lady Tigers were recognized in either the singles or doubles rankings at the end of the season.
In 2012, the U of M spent all but one week during the spring season in the ITA rankings, reaching a then program-best No. 51 on Mar. 20. Walker guided Collins to become the program's first participant in the NCAA Women's Singles Championships after ending the regular season ranked No. 31.
In all, five Lady Tigers earned rankings in 2012, with Stefanie Mikesz, Tiffany Welcher, Mariya Slupska and Alyssa Hibberd joining Collins in the polls. Collins' 2012 ITA Ohio Valley Cissie Leary Award for Sportsmanship and All-C-USA First Team selection highlighted the 17 postseason awards earned by those five athletes and Kelly Gray.
The Lady Tigers have steadily improved in the rankings and wins column under Walker's direction. Heading into the 2012 season, Walker's squad boasted a program-best five nationally-ranked netters: No. 51 Stefanie Mikesz, No. 60 Courtney Collins, No. 98 Mariya Slupska in singles, and 41st-ranked duo Alyssa Hibberd and Tiffany Welcher.
In 2011, Walker guided Collins to All-Conference USA First Team honors and Slupska to C-USA Newcomer of the Year, both being first-ever selections for the program.
In 2010, Walker coached senior Ashley Murdock to her third-consecutive All-Conference USA Second Team selection and Collins to her first All-C-USA nod. In 2009, Walker's second season, the Lady Tigers went 10-13, including wins over conference foes Southern Miss and UAB.
In his first season as head coach, Walker led the Lady Tigers to a 9-13 mark. In the fall of 2008, Walker coached Murdock and Marjorie Ondeck to the semifinals of the 2008 ITA Southeast Regional in Winston-Salem, N.C. Murdock and Ondeck defeated doubles tandems from No. 13 Clemson, No. 17 North Carolina and No. 25 Tennessee on their way to the semifinals.
Academics has also been a strength for the Lady Tigers under Walker, claiming ITA All-Academic Team honors from 2010-13, NCAA Public Recognition Awards from 2012-14 and Conference USA Sport Academic Awards from 2012-13. From 2008-13, 13 Lady Tigers were named ITA Scholar-Athletes, while Courtney Collins was named the C-USA Women's Tennis Scholar-Athlete in 2012 and 2013.
In 2013, Memphis placed a program-high seven student-athletes on the ITA Scholar-Athlete list for maintaining a 3.5 GPA for the academic year. On the season, the squad posted a 3.695 GPA to claim their second-straight C-USA Sport Academic Award for having the highest GPA among all women's tennis teams in the league. In addition, the team also recorded the highest GPA among all sports in C-USA.
In the spring of 2014, the Lady Tigers recorded a 3.91 GPA, the highest for any Memphis athletics program in school history with all eight student-athletes earning Dean's List honors. It was the first time in Memphis athletics history that an entire team had all earned Dean's List distinction.
Walker, a native of Jackson, Tenn., played for Memphis from 2001-04, teaming with current assistant coach Ben Stapp in his first season. The duo became the highest-ranked doubles tandem in school history at the time, ranking No. 12 in the country at the end of the 2001 fall season. Walker was also a nationally-ranked singles player, climbing as high as No. 48 in the country. He won 54 singles matches, playing primarily at the No. 1 and 2 positions during his three-year Tigers career. He was 64-29 in doubles. He was the school's first Conference USA First Team honoree and also was named to the C-USA Men's Tennis All-Decade Team (1995-2005).
Off the court, Walker was named the recipient of the 2004 ITA/Arthur Ashe Sportsmanship and Leadership award, which he received as part of U.S. Open festivities.
Walker received both his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Memphis, graduating in December of 2006 with a Master's Degree in human movement sciences. After graduating, he spent three seasons as an assistant coach with the men's program and spent the 2006-07 season as an assistant for the Lady Tigers prior to being named the head coach of the program in 2007.
Walker is married to former Lady Tigers soccer player Erin May Ferris. He has one brother, Matt, who is a tennis coach in Bradenton, Fla. Walker is the son of Susan and Dr. Danny Walker, who was a quarterback at Vanderbilt and UT Martin.