Reigning indoor pole vault world champion Brad Walker enters his first official year as a volunteer assistant at his alma mater in 2007. Walker, who has continued to train at Washington since concluding his collegiate career in 2004, will naturally work with UW's vaulters, providing assistance to Washington's esteemed vault coach, Pat Licari.
A graduate of Spokane's University High School, Walker ranked sixth in NCAA history and set a Pac-10 pole vault record of 19-0 ¼ during his four-year career at Washington, which concluded in 2004 with a successful defense of his 2003 NCAA indoor pole vault title. Walker was a four-time NCAA All-American and two-time Pac-10 Champion, was named MONDO West Region Track and Field Athlete of the Year in 2003, and also was the male recipient of the 2003 Pac-10 Medal for overall athletic and academic excellence.
Since graduating, Walker has climbed to the top of the pole vault world, winning three USA championships and a world indoor title, and earning a silver medal at the 2005 IAAF World Outdoor Championships. In October of 2005, Walker became the first Washington athlete ever to achieve a No. 1 ranking in the IAAF's Event-by-Event World Outdoor Rankings, a position he has held every week since.
In Germany in July 2006, Walker became one of just 12 vaulters worldwide -- and one of just four Americans -- ever to clear six meters (19-8 1/4) in the event. That vault placed him in a tie for eighth all-time worldwide in the vault, and equaled the third-best ever by an American men's vaulter.
Walker, 25, has remained in Seattle since graduating to train with Licari at Washington's Dempsey Indoor facility. His work with Washington's vaulters will be balanced against a full international competition schedule, with the goal of qualifying for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.