position Head Coach
2001, 2010 and 2017 Big Ten Coach of the Year
2002 Big Ten Tournament Outstanding Coach
2009 NSCAA Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year
2021 Inducted into the Long Island Soccer Player Hall of Fame
Now in her 25th season at the helm of Ohio State women’s soccer, head coach Lori Walker-Hock has established that Ohio State will contend in the Big Ten and nationally on an annual basis. The North Carolina graduate and three-time Big Ten Coach of the Year has led the Buckeyes to 14 NCAA Tournament appearances in the last 19 years, most recently in 2021 Spring Season when Ohio State advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the 10th time in the last 12 seasons.
During the 2021 Spring campaign, Walker-Hock was inducted the 2021 Long Island Soccer Player Hall of Fame.
Walker-Hock surrounds Ohio State’s student-athletes with innovative and driven teachers that include fifth-year assistant Brian Jankowski, an Ohio native who previously spent five seasons as an assistant at Dayton, and Gavin MacLeod, now in his second season after spending the three years at Cincinnati.
Walker-Hock has 27 years of experience as a Division I head coach with two years as head coach at the University of Kansas – she was the first coach in KU history – preceding her 24 completed seasons at Ohio State. Walker-Hock has a 275-202-53 record as a head coach, including a 262-179-52 record at Ohio State heading into the 2021 Fall Season. She has guided 15 teams to 10-or-more-win seasons and has coached four teams that set single-season wins records, including the 2004 Ohio State team that won a school-record 19 games.
The 2001, 2010 and 2017 Big Ten Coach of the Year, Walker-Hock has also been honored as the Big Ten Tournament’s outstanding coach (2002) and NSCAA Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year (2009). Ohio State has advanced to play in five Big Ten Tournament championship games (1998, 2002, ‘04, ‘07, ‘12) under Walker-Hock, winning the championship in 2002, 2004 and again in 2012.
Walker-Hock has guided Ohio State to the NCAA Tournament 14 times: 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2021(spring). The 2004 team advanced to the national quarterfinals at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium with NCAA wins over Bowling Green, Detroit and Tennessee before a 1-0 loss to UCLA, ended the 19-4-3 campaign. The Scarlet and Gray shattered numerous program standards that year, including most goals (62), assists (63), shutouts (13) and goals-against average of 0.67. The season included a nine-match win streak and a 13-game unbeaten run. The team was 15-1-1 at home.
In 2007, Ohio State won its first 10 games at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium to establish another program first before finishing 10-2 at home, a record that included wins over NCAA Tournament teams San Diego, Pepperdine, Illinois and Indiana. The team advanced to the Big Ten Tournament championship game with a win over Indiana and a penalty-kick shootout decision over Penn State. The season was highlighted by an invitation to the NCAA Tournament.
In 2008, Ohio State won six-consecutive matches to position it for its 13th Big Ten Tournament appearance. The team qualified for the tournament with the help of a stunning, 1-0, win at Penn State that snapped the Nittany Lions’ 67-game Big Ten unbeaten streak at Jeffrey Field, dating to 1995.
The Buckeyes finished second in the Big Ten Conference for their best finish ever and reached their fifth NCAA Tournament in 2009 while Walker-Hock was named NSCAA Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year. Their 14-3-2 regular season record marked the best in school history. The seven wins Ohio State posted in Big Ten play were a program best and the four total losses tied for the fewest in school history. The Buckeyes gave up just 13 goals, four fewer than any other season and were 4-0-1 against ranked opponents.
In 2010, Walker-Hock led the Buckeyes to the first Big Ten championship and College Cup in program history en route to Big Ten Coach of the Year honors. The Buckeyes knocked off St. Francis (Pa.) in overtime in the first round, advanced on penalty kicks against Dayton in the second round and defeated Virginia and Georgetown to advance to the NCAA semifinals before falling to eventual national champion Notre Dame. The Scarlet and Gray finished the season with a 17-5-2 record, tallying the second-most wins in school history, and ranked fourth in the final NSCAA rankings, another program best.
Walker-Hock guided the Buckeyes to their second-consecutive NCAA Sweet 16 appearance in 2011 after posting a 12-9-2 record, including NCAA upsets of Tennessee and No. 15 Milwaukee. The trip to the NCAA Tournament marked Ohio State’s fourth appearance in five seasons.
In 2012, the Buckeyes posted a 16-4-2 record en route to a fourth-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. Ohio State got hot down the stretch, tying a program record with nine-consecutive wins in October and November which included the Buckeyes’ third Big Ten Tournament championship with a 2-1 victory over Illinois.
Ohio State went 10-7-3 in 2013, making the NCAA Tournament for a fifth-consecutive season. Megan Fuller and Nichelle Prince were named second team All-Big Ten while Prince, and Alexis Degler were named to the Big Ten All-Freshman team.
In 2015, the Buckeyes advanced to their third NCAA Sweet 16 in six seasons, tallying a 13-7-3 record, 5-4-2 in conference play. Devon Kerr and Sarah Roberts were named to the Big Ten All-Freshman team while Lindsay Agnew garnered All-Big Ten Tournament team laurels.
The 2016 season saw Ohio State once again advance to the NCAA Tournament, behind quality campaigns from second team All-Big Ten selections Agnew, Prince, Nikki Walts and Morgan Wolcott. Agnew went on to earn NSCAA All-Great Lakes Region and CoSIDA second team All-America honors before being selected by the Washington Spirit with the 19th overall pick in the second round of the NWSL Draft. In addition, Prince was later selected with the 28th pick in the third round by the Houston Dash.
In 2017, Walker-Hock picked up her third Big Ten Coach of the Year honor as the Buckeyes won their first outright Big Ten championship. Walts garnered Big Ten Midfielder of the Year accolades while Wolcott was named the conference’s Defender of the Year and Sammy Edwards joined the duo on the All-Big Ten team. In addition, Wolcott was named a United Soccer Coaches Second Team All-American while Walts earned United Soccer Coaches Second Team All-American honors.
In 2018, the Buckeyes advanced to their fourth-consecutive NCAA Tournament after tying for third in the Big Ten with a 6-2-3 conference record. Walker-Hock helped lead a group of seven Buckeyes to garner Big Ten postseason honors, headlined by 2018 Big Ten Goalkeeper of the Year Devon Kerr. Kerr was joined by Izzy Rodriguez as a first team All-Big Ten selection while Sarah Roberts garnered second team All-Big Ten honors. Kayla Fischer, Emaly Vatne and Talani Barnett each earned Big Ten All-Freshman team laurels while Alyssa Baumbick was the Buckeyes’ Big Ten Sportsmanship Award honoree. Rodriguez earned first team United Soccer Coaches All-North Region honors, while Kerr was the second team all-region goalkeeper.
The 2020 season was pushed the Spring of 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Buckeyes finished the regular season, all against Big Ten competition, with four-consecutive wins and an unbeaten streak of six games before a win over Maryland in the Big Ten Regional in Columbus. The Buckeyes fell to Rutgers 1-0 prior to being selected for the 2021 Spring NCAA Tournament, the 14th appearance for the Buckeyes, all under the direction of Walker-Hock. Ohio State downed Stony Brook 5-1 in the NCAA First round to set a record for goals in NCAA play at Ohio State. The season ended with a loss to No. 10 Santa Clara (1-4). Individually, Izzy Rodriguez was named First Team All-Big Ten and the conference Defender of the Year. Peyton McNamara earned Co-Freshman of the Year and all-freshman team accolades. Kayla Fischer also was a first team all-conference selection and Ohio State’s sportsmanship award winner. Emma Sears was a second team all-league honoree while Talani Barnett and Alyssa Baumbick were third team members.
In addition to the on-field success, Walker-Hock’s Buckeyes have thrived in the classroom. As a team, Ohio State has earned the NSCAA College Women’s Team Academic Award nine times in the past 10 years. To qualify for the award, a team must have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) to be eligible. Individually, 35 different student-athletes have garnered Big Ten Conference Distinguished Scholar laurels during Walker-Hock’s tenure to go along 15 CoSIDA Academic All-District honors.
Prior to taking over at Ohio State for the 1997 season, Walker-Hock spent two seasons at Kansas, where she started the program and compiled a 13-23-1 record in two seasons coaching a team of predominantly freshmen and sophomores.
Walker-Hock’s coaching career began at the University of Maryland in 1992 under former U.S. Women’s National Team head coach April Heinrichs. In three years at Maryland, the team’s goalkeepers and defense, coached by Walker-Hock, set records for save percentage, saves, fewest goals allowed and goals-against average. Active in the development of youth soccer, Walker-Hock has served as a Region II Staff Coach for the U.S. Soccer Federation Olympic Development Program since the summer of 1996. At Maryland, she served three years as a club coach in the town of Columbia, Maryland, as well as a head coach for the Maryland State Youth Soccer Association ODP.
Walker-Hock is a 1994 graduate of North Carolina. She was a member of four Tar Heel national championship teams, three ACC championship teams and lost only one match in her four-year collegiate career. She was the starting goalkeeper in 1989 and ended her playing career in 1991 with a career goals-against average of 0.41, allowing only 10 goals in 2,206 minutes of play. Walker-Hock holds a share of the NCAA tournament record with an amazing 0.00 GAA. She also excelled in the classroom and was named to the ACC academic honor roll three times.
Walker-Hock holds an “A” license and a National Youth License from the U.S. Soccer Federation, as well as a Premier diploma from the NSCAA. She is an active member of the NSCAA and former member of the NSCAA Women’s Committee. Walker-Hock was a high school All-American at Guilderland Central High School where she earned letters in soccer, basketball and volleyball.
A native of Albany, N.Y., Walker-Hock resides in Columbus with her husband, Chris. Her hobbies cycling, paddle boarding and boating.
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