Joe Walker has resigned as the State College boys’ basketball coach.
Walker said it was a personal decision to step down after leading the Little Lions the past four years.
“I’ve had a blast over the last four years with the guys that I’ve coached, and a lot of people, they’re so surprised, ‘Well, what happened? What went wrong?’” Walker said Monday night. “There’s nothing really that went wrong. It’s just kind of I’m at the point in my life where I want to start moving forward with some goals and plans of mine for the future.
“It’s a huge time commitment, and I don’t think that people really know throughout the year how much time that you spend in the gym but also behind the scenes organizing stuff and traveling and things like that.”
In the past two seasons under Walker, the Little Lions won consecutive Mid Penn championships and earned two state playoff wins while posting a combined record of 45-7. During the 2017-18 season, State College had a 24-2 record and reached the second round of the PIAA Class 6A playoffs. The Little Lions also won four straight District 6 titles with Walker at the helm.
The coach said he submitted his letter of resignation last week and emailed the program’s parents Monday about his decision.
Walker will cherish the relationships he formed with his players.
“I’ll never forget how great it was and enjoyable for me every day to go in the gym and spend time with those guys as athletes but also as people,” Walker said. “The memories that they provided for me will last a lifetime, and I hope that when they look back, they can probably say the same that they had a great couple of years with me.”
Walker said he’ll still be part of the basketball community in State College — and he could see himself returning to coaching in the future.
“I don’t close the door for future endeavors. I do, I love coaching. I wish it was my only job, but that’s not how it works,” said Walker, who teaches science in the district. “Some people ask me if I retired. I said, ‘Well, I resigned.’ That doesn’t necessarily mean retirement for good.”
But right now, Walker is looking forward to spending more time at home and focusing on personal goals.
“Balancing my time between teaching, coaching, being a husband, being an uncle, things like that, I think I have pretty high expectations of myself,” Walker said. “When I start to feel that I’m not meeting them to the level that I want to, I don’t feel good. I’m not all in like I felt I have been for the last four years, and I think that that’s not fair to me or the program.”