Jeff Walz

The head coach at the University of Louisville since 2007-08, Jeff Walz  enters his first USA Basketball coaching assignment with the 2014 USA Basketball Women’s U18 National Team.  He was announced as a USA U18 assistant coach on Feb. 26, 2014.

“I am honored to have been selected to represent USA basketball as an assistant coach for the U18 Women’s National Team,” Walz said. “Since beginning in this profession, the realization of this endeavor has been a life-long ambition. I am thrilled to be amongst some of the greatest collegiate coaches and hope to contribute both on and off the court. I appreciate USA Basketball for recognizing my passion and will work diligently to help mentor and coach some of the most talented young women in the game. Go USA!”

Currently in his seventh season as the Louisville head coach, Walz owns a 175-67 (.723) record with the Cardinals, and thus far in 2013-14, Louisville is an impressive 27-2 for the season (all records as of Feb. 26).

In his first six seasons, he guided the Cardinals to two Final Four appearances and national runner-up finishes in 2009 and 2013 along with four Sweet Sixteen appearances.

In just his first season, Walz and his staff brought in the highest ranked recruiting class in Cardinal history. He has since followed it up with three consecutive Top 10 classes, with the 2010 class ranked fifth in the nation. The 2011 class made school history with two McDonald's All-Americans.

He was named the sixth head coach at the University Louisville on March 27, 2007. Walz, a Kentucky native, returned to the bluegrass state after serving as an associate head coach at Maryland.

Last season Walz led the Cardinals to the biggest upset in women's basketball history by defeating the No. 1 overall seed Baylor in the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament. The Cardinals went on to defeat the No. 2 seeded Tennessee Lady Vols in the Elite Eight to reach their second Final Four appearance in four years.
Louisville went on to defeat No. 2 seed California in the national semifinal, advancing to the National Championship for the second time in Walz's career as a head coach. Entering the NCAA Tournament the Cardinals were ranked No. 16 but finished the year ranked third with a 29-9 overall record and another miraculous run in the NCAA Tournament.

During the 2012 season Walz had his most talented team in four seasons but lost two of his top three scorers early in the season. Despite the adversity, Walz led the team to a 23-10 record. The Cardinals advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament and ended the season with a final ranking of 16th in the nation.

In 2011 Walz once again had his Louisville team primed for postseason play. The Cardinals surprised everyone by knocking off the No. 2 seed Xavier Musketeers, led by freshman sensation Shoni Schimmel with a career-high 33 points. The Cards advanced to the Sweet Sixteen for the third time in four seasons under the direction of Walz. Louisville finished the year ranked 19th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll.

There were many highlights in Walz's fourth season at Louisville, including two sell outs in the new 22,000 seat arena. The Cardinals finished second in the nation in attendance, averaging 10,859 fans per game.

In his second season at the helm, Walz guided the Cardinals to the 2009 National Championship game. He became just the second coach to take a team to the national championship game after just two seasons as a head coach. They finished the year with an overall record of 34-5, setting the school record for most wins in school history. They also finished the year ranked second in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll for the highest ranking in school history. The Cardinals finished second in the BIG EAST with a 14-2 record for their best finish in the league, and advanced to the BIG EAST Tournament title game for the second consecutive year, falling to top-ranked UConn.

Louisville became the Cinderella story of the 2009 NCAA Tournament by knocking off two No. 1 seeds and a No. 2 seed to advance to the championship game. The Cardinals were seeded third in the Raleigh Region, earning their highest seed in school history. Louisville defeated second seeded Baylor and top seeded Maryland in the Sweet 16 to earn their first ever NCAA Final Four appearance.

Under Walz's guidance seniors Angel McCoughtry and Candyce Bingham earned first team All-BIG EAST honors and became the most decorated senior class in school history. McCoughtry was also the first pick of the 2009 WNBA Draft.

In his first season, Walz guided the Cardinals to their first NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearance. Louisville finished with a 26-10 record and their highest national ranking at No. 12 in the final ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. He was named the WBCA/Maggie Dixon Rookie Head Coach of the Year.        

Walz had the Cardinals ready for a late season run that began with the BIG EAST Tournament. He guided the Cardinals to their biggest win in school history, knocking off No. 4 Rutgers in the quarterfinals of the tournament. It was the Cardinals' first win over a Top 5 opponent. The Cardinals then dropped No. 16 West Virginia in the semifinals for their first back-to-back wins over ranked opponents.

Louisville played in their first BIG EAST Tournament final against top-ranked Connecticut. The Cardinals came alive in the second half and almost pulled their third upset in three days but fell short.

Louisville's run in the BIG EAST Tournament helped the Cardinals earn their best NCAA Tournament seed, seeded No. 4. The Cardinals defeated Miami (Ohio) 81-67 in the first round and then handed No. 15 Kansas State an 80-63 loss to advance to the Sweet Sixteen. The Cardinals faced second ranked North Carolina in their first Sweet Sixteen game. The game was played to the wire before the Tar Heels defeated the Cardinals 78-74.

Before coming to Louisville, Walz's career highlights as an assistant included helping guide his teams to nine NCAA Tournaments, one WNIT appearance and one National Championship.

In just five seasons at Maryland, Walz helped Head Coach Brenda Frese build a national power. Maryland has earned an NCAA Tournament bid the last five seasons, breaking through to the Sweet Sixteen in 2006, en route to winning the program's first national championship that year. In his tenure at Maryland, seven Terrapins earned All-ACC accolades, while Crystal Langhorne and Marissa Coleman were tabbed ACC Rookies of the Year in back-to-back seasons. He also assisted in signing back-to-back top-five ranked recruiting classes in 2004 and 2005.

Walz first joined Frese's staff at Minnesota for one year after coaching for four seasons at Nebraska. At Minnesota, he worked with the posts and centers, including 2002 Big Ten Freshman of the Year Janel McCarville, while also taking on scouting and recruiting efforts for the Gophers during the staff's 22-8 season.

Prior to his stint at Minnesota,Walz served as an assistant at Nebraska under head coach Paul Sanderford from 1997-2001. At Nebraska he was involved with all aspects of the program, from coordinating the Huskers' recruiting efforts, to tracking student-athletes' academics, to scheduling and camps.

He helped Nebraska to a school-record three-straight NCAA Tournament appearances (1998, 1999, 2000) and also coached Nicole Kubik, the L.A. Sparks' No. 1 draft pick in the 2000 WNBA Draft. By his final year at Nebraska, Walz was in charge of conducting individual development workouts as well as opponent scouting.

Walz got his first collegiate coaching job at Western Kentucky in 1996 after serving as the team's administrative assistant the previous season. During that season, the Hilltoppers finished with a 22-9 record. They became Sun Belt Co-Champions, and earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Walz began his coaching career at the middle and high school levels in 1992 and was an AAU coach in 1995-96. During his career, he has guided such players as 1996 National High School Player of the Year Jaime Walz, his sister, who now coaches the girls' high school team at their alma mater, Highlands High School. He also coached 1999 NCAA champion and WNBA standout Ukari Figgs, the University of Tennessee's Kyra Elzy, and Ohio State standout Louisville native, Marita Porter.

He attended Northern Kentucky University on a basketball scholarship, graduating with a bachelor of science in secondary education in May 1995. Walz earned his master's in education in August of 1997 from Western Kentucky.