Ohio State Hires Grand Canyon Assistant Coach Jamall Walker

By Andy Anders on April 10, 2024 at 4:09 pm
Jamall Walker
Courtesy of Grand Canyon athletics

Another piece to Jake Diebler's first-year head coaching puzzle is in place.

Ohio State has hired Grand Canyon assistant coach Jamall Walker as an assistant coach for 2024-25. He brings with him 20 years of college basketball assistant coaching experience.

“I could not be more happy to welcome Jamall and his family to the Ohio State basketball family,” Diebler said in a statement. “Jamall’s recruiting success, his experience in the Big Ten as well as working with a coach like Bryce Drew were all really important intangibles that I was looking for when filling out a staff. He's got a great defensive mind and a tremendous ability to connect with players. He’s going to be a great asset for our program.”

Walker joins former USC Upstate head coach Dave Dickerson and former N.C. State assistant Joel Justus as members of Diebler’s coaching staff, leaving one more spot available on Ohio State’s on-court coaching staff. (Correction: Ohio State still has two more spots available on its coaching staff, one of which was filled by Luke Simons on Thursday.)

Walker spent the last four seasons at Grand Canyon, helping lead the Antelopes to NCAA Tournament appearances in 2021, 2023 and 2024. As a No. 12 seed in this year's tournament, GCU upset fifth-seeded Saint Mary's in the first round before falling to fourth-seeded Alabama, an eventual Final Four team, in the second round.

Before his time at Grand Canyon, Walker coached eight seasons at Illinois – first under John Groce then Brad Underwood. During the transition between Groce and Underwood in 2017, Walker served as interim head coach for the Fighting Illini's NIT run that year, winning two games to get them to the quarterfinal round.

Walker also holds some ties to the Buckeye State, coaching three seasons at Ohio University. He served a backend role as director of basketball operations for Arizona in 2009-10 as well.

Born in Wichita, Kansas, Walker played college basketball at Saint Louis from 1995 through 1999. He was a three-year starter for the Billikens, averaging five points and 2.8 assists per game for his career.

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