Missouri State University-West Plains assistant basketball coach Yancey Walker has been tapped to lead the team as head coach following a system-wide internal search,according to university officials Aug. 11.
Walker, who joined the coaching staff in April, takes over the program from Brian Ostermann.
Ostermann recently resigned after four years as the Grizzlies' head coach to take the associate head coach position with the Texas Christian University women's basketball program in Fort Worth, Texas.
"Coach Walker has my full confidence and understands our high expectations for a great year," Chancellor Drew Bennet said. "I would encourage everyone to give our new coach their full support and join me courtside as we cheer our Grizzlies on to victory."
"I've come to know Yancey Walker as a gentleman of considerable integrity who knows the game of basketball very, very well," added dean of student services and athletic director Dr. Herb Lunday. "He has an exceptionally strong work ethic and has shown us that he is an outstanding recruiter. Importantly, Yancey Walker came to love Missouri State-West Plains before this opportunity ever developed."
Walker, a native of Scott City, Kan., was a four-year varsity basketball letterman at Scott Community High School.
During his junior year, he averaged 16 points and eight rebounds a game and scored a career high 31 points against Hoxie High School.
At the end of that season, the Garden City Telegram made him an honorable mention honoree to the All-Southwest Kansas team.
Following high school, Walker joined the Colby Community College Trojans and played for legendary coach and NAIA Hall of Famer Bill Morse.
He completed his bachelor's degree in information networking and telecommunications at Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kan., and his master's degree in sports administration from Henderson State University in Arkadelphia.
His first coaching position was as Ostermann's assistant at Colby Community College from 2001-2003.
From there, he served as assistant men's basketball coach at Henderson State University from 2003-2005, as assistant men's basketball coach at Arkansas Tech University from 2005-2006, and as assistant head basketball coach and assistant director of athletics at Hawaii Pacific University from 2006 until earlier this year. For more information about the Grizzly basketball program, contact the Grizzly basketball office at 417-255-7993. p://www.wp.missouristate.edu/Grizzly/bb.htm.