Brotherly Love: Walker brothers lead Liberty Hill back to state semifinals
Jeff and Kent Walker still bicker like brothers.
“Yes, we yell at each other quite a bit.” Liberty Hill head football coach Jeff Walker said with a chuckle.
“We butt heads from time to time, but being able to work for my brother it’s a lot of fun.” added Kent Walker, defensive coordinator for Liberty Hill.
Senior running back Kyle Harrison might have the best description.
“Some of the offensive guys and me, we say Jeff Walker the head coach is Yoda," Harrison explained. "and Kent Walker, the defensive coordinator, is Darth Vader. That’s just how they are, they’re both geniuses.”
Jeff, the head coach and big brother by 10 years handles the Panthers classic Slot-T offense. On the other side, Kent runs the defense. Considering their lifelong love for football, this arrangement is no surprise.
“You know, our dad would’ve really enjoyed watching us coach together.” Kent said.
“We knew it when we were little. Our dad brought us up playing, as soon as we could put on a helmet and shoulder pads he was coaching us.” Jeff added.
Their brotherly love is a perfect fit for a tight community like Liberty Hill. In their second season back together, the Walkers are two wins from winning the school’s first state title since 2007.
“Really echoes the motto of ‘One Family’ here, we’re all one family here." senior linebacker Brenden Ketchem said. "And to have them as brothers it really is a real bond with this family, great chemistry, flows well. Teams just come together real smoothly whenever you have a coaching staff like we do.”
But as the elder Walker says "good players make good coaches”, and in the end that’s why they do it -- the players.
“I tell my coaches all the time, ‘I don’t mind you arguing with me if you’re fighting for kids’...So it’s okay, but yeah, we argue a little bit.”
On Friday, the Panthers head east to Cy-Fair FCU Stadium in Cypress where they'll face undefeated Carthage. The winner advances to the 4A Division I State Championship game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.