Kathy Walker has been a girls and boys swimming and diving coach for more than 40 years.
She has guided the Alexandria boys and girls in the pool for the last three years, but she has also coached collegiately at the College of Saint Benedict and in the Sultanate of Oman, a country on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia.
Walker has learned a lot about coaching during those stops and earned a spot in the Minnesota Swimming Hall of Fame for her work. At a time in her career when she could slow down, Walker is instead taking advantage of an opportunity to travel the world to learn even more about coaching athletes in swimming and diving. This new venture forced Walker to resign from her position as the girls coach for the Cardinals as her former assistant, Crysta Krause takes over the girls this fall season under an interim head coach title.
“I wanted to learn more as a coach working at various camps and venues, from other coaches around the world,” Walker said on Aug. 19. “It did not fit for me to continue to coach at Alexandria while I was being sent to (Los Angeles) or San Francisco or Barbados or Saudi Arabia. I resigned from Alexandria because I could not do both.”
Walker, who has coached the Alexandria boys team to back-to-back top-five finishes at the Class A state meet, said she plans to continue coaching the boys during the winter season before continuing her travels after their season is complete. She feels the girls for Alexandria are in good hands with Krause taking over after serving as an assistant for three years.
“Crysta Krause is an amazing coach who is more than capable of taking over a program of talented, passionate girls' swimmers and divers at Alexandria,” Walker said. “She and I have talked off and on about her role as a head coach at Alexandria.”
Walker continues to move forward in her coaching career with no plans of stepping away from a pool deck anytime soon. She just finished up a camp in Manhattan at a pool near Gracie Mansion, an historic mansion built in 1799 that serves as the official residence of the mayor of New York City.
“I am in upstate New York (Monday) and will travel to Monterey, (Calif.) next week,” Walker said. “I am not stepping away from coaching, but working with international swimmers. I am still on the pool deck, getting splashed every day.”