OSU baseball: Rob Walton would not go to any other place than Oklahoma State
Walton was happy as head coach at Oral Roberts, and then his alma mater called. He is now the Cowboys' new pitching coach.
Oral Roberts is a special place for Rob Walton.
Spanning 15 baseball seasons, nine as head coach, Walton helped construct and sustain a powerhouse out of a Summit League afterthought.
With a career 367-167 record, Walton won the conference every year, never missing an NCAA Tournament. And with the talent ORU continually assembled, Walton's extended streak wasn't in immediate jeopardy.
“You talk about family and togetherness and cohesiveness, I spent nearly a quarter of my life there,” Walton said. “We had a great team coming back, great kids coming back.”
Not many places could have pried Walton away from his baseball paradise. In fact, if you ask the coach, the list is a line deep.
“One place,” Walton said. “ Oklahoma State's the only place (I would have left it for).”
So when the Cowboys came calling last week, with new head coach Josh Holliday and athletic director Mike Holder making intentions clear, Walton made a quick decision.
They met on Sunday. By midday Monday, Walton was named the next Oklahoma State pitching coach.
“They wanted me on board,” Walton said. “I came over and visited, and I thought they had a good game plan and a great opportunity.”
The runner-up behind Holliday for OSU's head coaching gig, Walton was thought by many to be the immediate favorite when eight-year coach Frank Anderson was fired last month.
But Holder went with Holliday, who quickly won over the faithful with a spirited introductory speech.
There was slight disappointment, but Walton quickly dispelled any kind of resentment. He happily became Holliday's first and most important hire, capping the back end of a high-profile pairing that has generated buzz for a tradition-rich program that had been lacking hype.