“We are very excited to add Brad Walker to our staff!,” Phipps said. “He is the most accomplished male pole vaulter in US history. What also impressed me was his knowledge of training in all areas, his professionalism and his passion for the sport. He has worked with some of the world's greatest coaches, competed at the very highest levels, and has helped athletes at every level. He started his athletic career as a high jumper in Spokane and competed in the Pac-12, so he knows this area and is very familiar with this conference.”
Walker, 34, is the current United States men’s pole vault record-holder after clearing 19-feet, 9 3/4 inches (6.04m) in 2008 at the Nike Prefontaine Classic. That mark earned him the Maria Mutola award, presented to the most outstanding performer of the meet. He is a five-time USATF Outdoor Champion in the pole vault, taking titles in 2005, 2007, 2012 and 2013. He also has accumulated four USATF Indoor Championships, taking titles in 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2012.
His international acclaim includes gold medals at the 2007 World Outdoor Championships and the 2006 World Indoor Championships, silver medals at the 2008 World Indoor and 2005 World Outdoor Championships, and a bronze medal at the 2012 World Indoor Championships. Walker was also a member of Team USA at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Walker was a prep standout at University High School in Spokane Valley, Wash., and went on to an illustrious career at the University of Washington. He was a two-time Pac-10 Champion (2002, 2003) and a four-time All-American with two NCAA Indoor Championships pole vault titles (2003, 2004). He captured the 2003 NCAA title with a vault of 19-0 1/4, nearly nine inches beyond his nearest competitor.
Walker continues to train and compete in US and international competitions including another trip to the World Championships in Beijing last summer.
“Coaching has been something I’ve always wanted to do,” Walker said. “Early on in my career, as I started to see more success, I was able to work with friends and other vaulters, and had a lot of joy in seeing someone improve just by sharing what I have learned. From my high school coach, Reg Hulbert to Pat Licari at UW, and working with Dan Pfaff and Ty Sevin, every coach I’ve worked with has shown me new insights into the sport. As my repertoire started to grow, I felt that I had a lot of information to share and couldn’t be happier to do it at Washington State. It’s kind of in my backyard, being from Spokane, so it feels like a homecoming. I am really excited about this opportunity.”
Walker takes the spot previously held by Matt McGee, who took a position as the jumps and multi-events coach at the University of Arizona.
NOTE: Washington State University contributed to this report.