Colonel William P. Walker is the Deputy Director of Athletics as well as the Professor and Head of the Physical Education Department, Directorate of Athletics, United States Air Force Academy, Colorado. He is responsible for day-to-day operations of the Academy's athletic department, to include 23 NCAA Division I Olympic sports, and a multifaceted program involving physical education, cadet fitness testing and evaluation, and an intramural program for over 4,000 cadets, while supervising 190 officers and civilians.
A recognized expert in intercollegiate athletic issues, he was asked by the United States Department of Education to testify as an expert panelist for the Secretary's Commission on Opportunity in Athletics. A nationally respected administrator, he helped broker the merger between the Great Western Lacrosse League and the ECAC Lacrosse League and served as the first Chairman of the new ECAC Lacrosse League Executive Council. He also spearheaded the formation of the Western Wrestling Conference in 2005 and still serves as its Commissioner. He previously served as Chair of the NCAA Division I Wrestling Committee and is currently a member of the NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Committee. He was a member of the USA Wrestling Board of Directors, the National Wrestling Coaches' Association Board of Directors, and the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Distinguished Member Committee. He is a 2003 graduate of the Division 1A Athletic Directors' Institute.
Raised in Hartland, Wisconsin, Colonel Walker graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in 1983 where he was captain of the varsity wrestling team his senior year. After receiving his commission he attended undergraduate helicopter training at Fort Rucker, AL. His first assignment after pilot training was as a TH-1F instructor-evaluator pilot at George AFB, CA. From 1987-1991, Colonel Walker was a pilot in the 1st Helicopter Squadron at Andrews AFB, MD, providing priority airlift to our nation's highest-ranking officials. While at Andrews, Colonel Walker was the 89th Military Airlift Wing Director of Operations' Executive Officer as well as a Military Assistant to the Presidential Inaugural Committee.
Colonel Walker then moved to the United States Air Force Academy as a physical education instructor, assistant wrestling coach, and Director of the Fitness Testing and Evaluation Division. While at the Academy Colonel Walker was named Company Grade Officer of the Year for the Athletic Department and earned his department's Outstanding Military Educator of the Year Award in 1993, the Academy's highest instructional award. Walker was then selected by the Athletic Department to attend graduate school and pursue a doctorate.
After earning his doctorate in Physical Education/Sports Administration at the University of Northern Colorado, Colonel Walker was selected as the Operations Officer and later Commander of the 37th Helicopter Squadron, Francis E. Warren AFB, WY where his unit earned the distinction of "Best Helicopter Operations" in Air Force Space Command and garnered 25 "Saves" and 25 "Assists" while flying 82 rescue missions.
In 1998, Colonel Walker was chosen as the Operations Officer for the 1st Helicopter Squadron, Andrews AFB, MD and was later selected as the Commander of this, the largest helicopter squadron in the Air Force. While Commander, he instituted a new Head-of-State mission and began routinely transporting the Vice President of the United States for the first time in decades. Additionally, he saw his squadron surpass the rotary-wing record of 200,000 accident-free flying hours. Colonel Walker subsequently became the Deputy Commander of the 89th Operations Group, an 800-person organization responsible for directing the safe transport of the President of the United States, Vice President, and Cabinet Secretaries, members of Congress, foreign heads of state and other dignitaries around the world.
In April of 2001, Colonel Walker was appointed by President George W. Bush as the first Permanent Professor of Athletics and Physical Education at the Air Force Academy. Colonel Walker is a command pilot with nearly 3,000 hours in the UH-1H, TH-1F, CH-3, and UH-1N. He holds a Bachelor of Science from the U.S. Air Force Academy, and Master of Arts from California State University, San Bernardino, and a Doctor of Education degree from the University of Northern Colorado. He is married to the former Caroline Ann Cyr of Daleville, AL, and they have one daughter, Kaela, who is a student at Northwestern University.