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Ryan Walker is in his second season as an assistant coach with the USC Upstate men's basketball program. He will assist in all phases of the program under head coach Eddie Payne.
Walker comes to Upstate after serving one season as a graduate assistant at Emporia State in Emporia, Kan., in 2007-08. He assisted in all phases of the men's basketball program Emporia State, a member of NCAA Division II and the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA). He primarily worked with the guards and assisted in recruiting. The Hornets rose to as high as No. 7 in the NCAA Division II Top 25 poll and advanced to the championship game of the MIAA Tournament. He coached one all-conference and one all-region selection last year.
Walker began his collegiate playing career at Division I Southern Illinois before finishing his career at Division II Quincy (Ill.) University. He sat out his freshman season as a red-shirt at SIU and played his sophomore season for the Salukis. He averaged 1.3 ppg in 14 games for SIU in 2003-04 as the Salukis finished the season with a 25-5 record and were eliminated by Alabama in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. While at SIU, Walker was a member of two conference championship and NCAA Tournament teams.
Walker transferred to Quincy following his second year at SIU and had a standout three-year career with the Hawks. He helped lead the team to three straight appearances in the NCAA Division II Tournament and was a two-time Great Lakes Valley Conference Honorable Mention All-Conference selection. He finished his career at Quincy with 1,137 points. He holds six school records, including the all-time marks with 217 three-pointers and 559 three-pointers attempted. He also holds the single-season school record with 88 three-pointers in 2005-06 and the single-game school record with 10 three-pointers against Drury set during the 2005-06 season. He ranked third on the team in scoring his first season with the Hawks, averaging 11.2 points as Quincy finished with an 18-11 record and in fourth place in the GLVC. In 2005-06, he led the team in scoring at 14.4 points as the Hawks won the Western Division GLVC regular season championship and finished with a 22-10 record. As a senior, he ranked third on the team in scoring 11.7 points per game as the Hawks finished with a 20-10 overall record and in third place in the Western Division of the GLVC. He graduated from Quincy with a bachelor's degree in Biology and a minor in Sport Management.
Walker is a native of Charlotte, N.C., and completed his freshman and sophomore years of high school at Charlotte Country Day School. His family moved to Galesburg, Ill., following his second year in high school. He finished his last two years at Galesburg High School, where he was a two-year starter on the varsity boys' basketball team. He was a two-time all-conference selection at Galesburg and was a four-year letterman on his high school varsity teams.
Walker and his wife, Kari, were married on Sept. 8, 2007. Kari was a member of the women's basketball team at Quincy and is a school teacher.