Follow Your Director of Athletics!
Tonia Walker has been an integral part of the Winston-Salem State University Department of Athletics for more than a decade and has occupied nearly every administrative position within the department. She was appointed Director of Athletics on May 1, 2014.
Mrs. Walker has just currently finished her second stint as Interim Director of Athletics. Walker’s first stint as Interim Director of Athletics came on February, 9, 2009 and served at the head of the WSSU Department of Athletics for the better part of 11 months before returning to her role as the Associate Director of Athletics in January of 2010 following the installation of Director of Athletics, Bill Hayes.
In addition to her duties as the Rams’ Associate Director of Athletics she has also served as the Senior Woman Administrator, a role that she has occupied since joining the staff nearly fifteen years ago.
She has been a member of the WSSU Athletics staff since August of 2000 and will enter into her 15th year of service to Winston-Salem State University in 2010-11 making her the most senior administrator in the WSSU Athletic Department.
Originally serving as both the Assistant Director of Athletics and head volleyball coach, Walker resigned her duties as WSSU's head volleyball coach in 2002 to focus on her administrative role en route to moving to the position of Associate Director of Athletics.
An integral figure in the university's transition from NCAA Division II to Division I (Football Championship Subdivision) status she brings a wealth of knowledge of intercollegiate athletics to the University. Walker came to WSSU from the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) head office where she began her career in 1993.
Tonia’s vision for athletics rest on four pillars: 1) Athletics Excellence, 2) Athletics Success, 3) Program Self Sufficiency and 4) Community Engagement. Since Walker assumed the director of athletics position, the department of athletics has seen a seen a 19% increase in athletics giving and a 29% increase in ticket sales. Walker has dedicated her time to strengthen relationships with the campus community and community at-large and has devoted much of her time engaging former student-athletes in an effort to enhance support, financial giving and mentorship opportunities.
In 2015 she launched the Inaugural She’s Got It Covered Classy Hat Affair, a fundraising event held in in honor of National Girls Women and Sports Day. The event is designed to raise scholarship funds and awareness to improve equity and access for girls and women in sports. This year the event yielded over $35,000 in funding for scholarships for the female athletics programs.
Walker boasts about the 15 CIAA Championships claimed by Winston-Salem State University sports teams over the past five years and takes pride in knowing that she represents a “Campus of Champions” whose mission is to graduate champions.
Named the 2003-04, 2005-06 and 2011-12 CIAA Senior Woman Administrator of the Year, Tonia was one of eight participants around the country selected for the NCAA Fellows Leadership Development Program. The extensive 18-month program from which Walker graduated in May of 2006 serves to enhance the employment and leadership opportunities for minorities and women at the senior management level of intercollegiate athletics administration.
She is currently a member of the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators (NACWAA) and Minority Opportunities Athletic Association as well as the Black College Coaches and Administrators Association.
Walker is a 2004 graduate of the NACWAA/HERS Institute and 2005 NACWAA Executive Institute -both serving to enhance opportunities for women to move into positions as Athletics Directors or Conference Commissioners. Most recently she was named the 2008 NACWAA recipient of the Nell Jackson Award bestowed annually to an athletic administrator who exemplifies the qualities of Dr. Nell Jackson. The award is given to an individual who demonstrates qualities such as courage, conviction and perseverance and to an athletic administrator who is an advocate for gender equity and diversity.
She currently serves as a member of the NCAA Division II Membership Committee and has served on numerous committees both nationally, for the CIAA and the university.
Tonia attended Hampton University as a two-sport athlete, playing basketball and softball. In December of 1993, she graduated with honors, receiving a B.A. degree in communicative sciences and disorders and went on to attain a M.S. in in recreation and sports administration from Old Dominion University in 1998. She looks to pursue her Ph.D. in th e very near future as well as continue to help lead the WSSU Department of Athletics to greater heights.
Tonia is married to Wayne Walker, Sr. of Petersburg, Va., a former Hampton University football player. They have two children, Daijah and Wayne, Jr.