West Virginia University Potomac State College’s Jim Walton, head softball coach and women’s basketball coach and assistant athletic director, announced he will retire this month.
Coach Walton retires after 18 years with the PSC athletic department. He started as an assistant softball coach during the 2002 season and was named the head softball coach for the 2008 season. Walton led the Catamounts for 12 seasons, amassing a record of 293 wins, 174 losses and one tie. Coach Walton assumed the head coaching duties of the women’s basketball team for the 2004-2005 season and has a 15-year record of 261 wins against 120 losses. Walton also coached the Potomac State volleyball team for two seasons, 2004 and 2005. Since 2004, Coach Walton has also held the assistant athletic director position in the PSC athletic department.
Walton leaves behind a legacy that will impact the college’s community for many years to come. “During the past 15 years, Coach Walton has served Potomac State College in a variety of ways,” said Lucas Taylor, dean of Student Experience. “He has led both the women’s basketball and softball programs to regional prominence and given Potomac State national recognition by competing in the NJCAA Division II national tournament four straight years. With all the success he has had on the field, we are most grateful for the positive impact he has had on the lives of our student athletes. He has coached with the highest level of integrity and with the goal of always putting the best interest of the student athlete first. His former and current players, the athletic department and this college, owe Jim a great debt of gratitude for all he has done during his tenure at Potomac State. We wish him and his family nothing but the best in his retirement.”
Winning championships and awards have become synonymous with Coach Walton’s programs. During his 12-year tenure as the softball coach, the team achieved a .630 winning percentage, finishing six seasons with 25 or more wins and winning 32 games in each of the 2010 and 2016 seasons. Under his tutelage the team won Western Pennsylvania Collegiate Conference Championships eight consecutive seasons, from 2008 to 2015. Additionally, four consecutive NJCAA Region XX Championships from 2015 through 2018 capped his softball squad’s success, sending them to the NJCAA Division II Softball Championships in Clinton, MS. The team’s efforts also resulted in a collection on individual awards for Coach Walton. He was named WPCC Softball Coach of the Year seven times.
On the hardwood, Coach Walton’s women’s basketball teams have been equally prosperous to the softball team. In his15 years at the helm, he led the Lady Catamount cagers to a .680 winning percentage and they earned Western Pennsylvania Collegiate Conference Championships nine times. The Potomac State women were successful in winning NJCAA Region XX Division II Championships in 2005 and 2007. Professional merit also found its way to Walton in basketball. He was named WPCC Women’s Basketball Coach of the Year seven times in 15 seasons and was twice-named NJCAA District J Women’s Basketball Coach of the Year, in 2005 and 2007.
“Wins and losses are the easiest form of measuring achievement, from that perspective, we have been successful at Potomac State.” remarked Walton. “In basketball and softball, the young women worked hard toward common goals and developed a track record of continued success. That makes our record satisfying.”
Reminiscing over his coaching career, Coach Walton points out that winning percentage and championships are not the number one source of pride, it’s the athletes and the atmosphere within his softball and basketball programs. “A number of young ladies have come through our programs and went on to thrive as athletes in four-year schools. We have numerous athletes that excelled academically at Potomac State and beyond. A large percentage of our women have moved on to successful professional careers.” Walton continued, “That’s what I am most proud of. I’d like to think our program helped our athletes mature and develop, not only as softball or basketball players, but also beyond that, in all facets of their lives.”
Coach Walton looks forward to enjoying more time with his wife, his family and his friends during his retirement.