After 14 years as Portland State head football coach, Tim Walsh accepted an offer to become the new offensive coordinator at Army Friday. Former Jesuit High graduate Stan Brock accepted the head coaching position in late January and had no other candidate in mind to run his offense.
Walsh leaves for Army
After 14 years as Portland State head football coach, Tim Walsh accepted an offer to become the new offensive coordinator at Army Friday.
Former Jesuit High graduate Stan Brock accepted the head coaching position in late January and had no other candidate in mind to run his offense.
“To be honest with you, I probably wouldn’t have taken the job unless I truly knew the man that is going to be my boss,” Walsh said during his final press conference on Friday afternoon. “I have a lot of respect for Stan Brock and I think he is going to do a tremendous job. He is going to be the shot of energy that the place needs for its football program.”
Walsh has been an icon for Vikings football since taking over as head coach in 1993. Early on, he led the team to three straight playoff appearances at the Division II level. He then undertook the transition to NCAA 1-AA and the Big Sky Conference in 1996.
“I came in at an emotional time 14 years ago. The transition from Division II to Division I and then losing for three years ended up hurting the program,” Walsh said. “But we have the thing going in the right direction once again and I just hope that we can use this as a springboard to bigger and better things for Portland State football.”
During his time at PSU Walsh compiled a 90-68 record, had four teams go to the NCAA playoffs and has the most wins as a football coach in school history. Walsh said he is not leaving because he has any reservations about Portland State.
“In reality I’m leaving because it’s such a unique place. There are not many places like West Point Military Academy,” Walsh said. “Every time you take a step you’re stepping on not just football history but your stepping on United States history. It’s pretty sacred ground.”
In the last eight seasons Walsh’s teams have compiled a 53-36 record. Montana is the only school in the Big Sky that has more wins during that span. Walsh is not happy to leave his players behind or the impressive recruiting class that he has compiled this year, especially after the last few years.
“I’ve known these guys for four and five years and I’ve seen them change dramatically, not only physically but as young men. I feel I have touched some of these guys and they have touched me. It’s a two-way street and I just think that a piece of me stays here with them.”
Finishing this season 7-4 overall and 6-2 in the Big Sky was a feat for a team that took on three Division I-A teams that included the University of California, University of Oregon and a win at New Mexico State. Walsh is proud to have been a Viking.
“That’s one of our mottos at Portland State: do a lot with less,” Walsh said.
Interim Athletic Director Teri Mariani is sad to see Walsh leave but is happy for her friend’s new opportunity.
“I can’t say it’s what I signed up but I’m so excited for Tim. He is a great friend and I know how special a place that is for him. Granted, the timing couldn’t be worse but there isn’t a time that it would be good to lose a coach of his quality,” Mariani said.
Speculations have been that Greg Lupfer, Viking defensive coordinator and interim head coach, will take over in Walsh’s wake.
“I hope Greg gets the opportunity to be the head coach, I think he deserves it. I think he will be different than me and at this point that is probably a good thing,” Walsh said.
Mariani will not name a new head coach until interviews with a few candidates, including Lupfer, have been conducted. Regardless of who becomes the head coach, Mariani is confident the Vikings will find success.
“We have had success here and I think we are going to continue to have it,” Mariani said. “We will continue to carry on that tradition that Tim has really established in the last few years.”