Former GCHS golfer Walker Frey tabbed as Buffs' boys coach
By BRETT MARSHALL
There's always been a part of Walker Frey that wanted to coach.
After all, the Garden City native and former Garden City High School golfer had his own father as a coach while playing youth sports in town.
Now, Frey has the opportunity to impart his lifelong experience and love of the game of golf onto the next generation of Buffaloes' golfers.
Frey was announced on Monday as the new boys golf coach for GCHS and will assume his duties immediately as he begins preparations for the 2013 spring boys season.
Frey has served as the assistant golf professional at Buffalo Dunes since the summer of 2010, and his new duties with the Buffaloes will fit in well with his current position.
"I had expressed my interest to Mr. (Martin) Segovia and the discussions kind of went from there," Frey said on Monday of his talks with the GCHS athletic director. "I want to make sure the kids get a good education in the classroom and that we can teach them the golf swing and all the other great aspects of golf — honesty, integrity and hard work."
Segovia was relieved and happy that the longer-than-anticipated search process had been completed.
"We originally had gone outside for our search, but to find a golf-specific candidate from somewhere else was pretty tough," Segovia said. "We then revised our search, and I think as it turns out we're pretty fortunate and happy to have somebody with Walker's background."
A 2005 GCHS graduate, Frey was a four-year lettermen for the Buffs' golf program. He twice qualified for the Class 6A state tournament, once as a freshman and then as a senior. Among his top accomplishments was finishing as regional runner-up his senior season.
"I'm very grateful to Cole (Buffalo Dunes head professional Wasinger) and to Matt Allen (Garden City City Manager) for providing me this opportunity while working here," Frey said. "I am looking forward to working with the young guys and to be able to work with them and get the best out of them."
Frey will have only one returning varsity player from last year's Buffalo team, which was coached by Lloyd Tiffany.
"We'll be pretty young and inexperienced, but I think when you look at building a program, you've got to start from the ground up," Frey said. "I've been working with our junior program out here, and so I know most of the younger kids and I think that will help."
Junior Austin Swender is the lone returning player from a year ago, so the roster will be dotted with many new faces, Frey said.
"We'll work with the kids on course management skills and do as much as we can to help them with how to get the best score possible during a round," Frey said. "We want them to compete hard every day and try to make sure there is improvement each day we're out there."
Frey, by definition according to the Kansas State High School Activities Association, is a Rule 10 coach. A Rule 10 coach is one who is not a fully-certified teacher within the school district. Frey becomes the first varsity head coach with GCHS to fit into this category.
"Certainly we would like to have had a full-time person, but I think we've come out of this with a highly-qualified coach," Segovia said. "Walker will have plenty of help and support from our staff here."
Matt Bayer will serve as Frey's assistant coach and will handle some of the duties in dealing with district policy and working with the student-athletes at the school.
"It's not nearly as much of a big deal as it might be with the other major sports like football and basketball," Segovia said.
Following his graduation from GCHS, Frey spent one semester at Colby Community College before transferring to Dodge City Community College, where he played for the nationally-ranked Conquistadors. He then transferred to Fort Hays State University, where he played one year with the Tigers in 2007-08. He is still working on his bachelor's degree, where he has about 30 hours remaining for his Criminal Justice diploma.