Kent Walker named Athletic Director
By Scott Akanewich
Kent Walker always wanted to be the athletic director and head football coach at Liberty Hill High School.
However, after being named to the dual position at a meeting of the Liberty Hill ISD school board to succeed his late brother, Jeff Walker, he certainly had mixed emotions.
“This is definitely bittersweet – I will never be able to fill the shoes of the two previous athletic director/head football coaches here,” said Walker. “This is special and at the same time difficult to follow in my brother’s footsteps. I know I have a huge fan watching over me and smiling down on me. (Former Liberty Hill Head) Coach (Jerry) Vance and my brother were not only two outstanding coaches, but they are/were great men. I’m looking forward to the challenge of continuing to build a championship culture here in Liberty Hill. I’m excited for this opportunity to continue building on what Coach (Jeff) Walker has built here in Liberty Hill.”
According to Walker, having the opportunity to take on his new role in Purple-and-Gold is simply the icing on a cake that was already plenty fulfilling due to its location.
“This is a dream job because of the kids, coaches and community. There’s not another place I would rather be than Liberty Hill – it’s a perfect place to raise a family. The quality of education here in Liberty Hill for my son has been amazing. I can’t say enough about his teachers over the past four years.”
Walker added he will definitely be his own man in running the Panthers’ program, while at the same time rely upon all he learned from watching his brother handle the job with such grace.
“It’s extremely important for me to establish myself in this role. Being the athletic director and head football coach of Liberty Hill ISD is a completely different role than classroom teacher and defensive coordinator. I really enjoy watching all of our sports compete and I look forward to supporting all of our athletic programs. Jeff and I are very similar and I have learned more about life and coaching through him than anyone else. I will keep the same coaching motto, ‘Put the kids first in everything you do.’ But, I’m not going to try and be Jeff Walker – Jeff wouldn’t want me to try and be him, either. I’m just going to put our kids first in everything I do.”
Walker led the Panthers to four wins in five playoff games after taking over on an interim basis, guiding Liberty Hill to the Class 5A state semifinals in the program’s first season in the higher classification under the most adverse of conditions and was named Class 5A Coach of the Year by the Texas Sports Writers Association.
“This has been a difficult experience, but I know Jeff is proud of all we were able to accomplish this past season,” he said. “I really don’t feel like there are any words to describe my emotions. I know my dad, mom and brother are smiling down and are my biggest fans from above.”
Walker is more than happy to take over a program with a proud history – one he intends to take to the next level of excellence, he said.
“It’s always easier to take over a program where the foundation has already been laid and set,” said Walker. “Liberty Hill is a place where expectations to be successful are the norm. We will continue to build champions for the future through hard work and toughness. We, as coaches, will coach each athlete like we would want someone to coach our son or daughter. Go Panthers.”