Bruce Walker, who has been part of Gary Pinkel’s coaching staff since he took over at Missouri in 2001 and has served as the team’s co-offensive line coach since 2009, has decided to retire and move to Washington with his family. Walker worked in tandem with offensive coordinator Josh Henson, so the Tigers will need to find a replacement for him before fall practices get underway. Dave Matter of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch suggested that graduate assistant Mack Brown and recruiting director Nick Otterbacher could be in-house candidates for the position.
The 53-year-old Walker, who also had stints at Toledo and Central Washington during his 26-year coaching career, achieved high levels of success as a coach. As Mizzou’s tight ends coach, he oversaw the progress of Dwayne Blakley, Martin Rucker, Chase Coffman, and Michael Egnew, all of whom went on to have NFL careers. As an offensive line coach, he coached Tim Barnes, who went undrafted but has gone on to have a lengthly stint with the St. Louis Rams, and Justin Britt, who was a second-round selection of the Seattle Seahawks in this year’s draft. He’s also helped develop center/guard Evan Boehm, who is projected to be one of the best centers in the NFL Draft whenever he ultimately decides to turn pro.
Walker also oversaw much of the Tigers’ recruiting that took place in Texas, which brought the team plenty of starts, particularly during Mizzou’s Big XII era. Notable players who Walker recruited included quarterback James Franklin and defensive ends Brian Smith and Jacquies Smith.