Greenville, S.C. -- Wally King has been named interim head coach for the Furman softball program after the resignation of Kyle Jamieson, who has accepted the position of associate head coach at Clemson, it was announced on Monday by Paladin director of athletics Mike Buddie.
"I want to thank Kyle Jamieson for his tireless work over the past five seasons and wish him continued success as he moves on to his next opportunity," said Buddie. "We are very fortunate to have someone already on staff with Wally's extensive experience. This team has high expectations and I know that Coach King will do a great job leading them into the season."
King, who spent last season as an assistant coach at the University of South Florida, joined the Furman softball coaching staff in July. The 51-year-old helped lead the USF Bulls to a 32-24 overall record and 9-8 mark in the American Athletic Conference in 2017 after serving as head coach at Division II Ferris State the previous year. During his tenure with Ferris State, King guided the Bulldogs to a 36-18 mark and the school's first Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) tournament appearance in three years. Ferris State's 36 wins in King's lone season in charge represented a 20-win improvement from 2015.
"I want to thank Mike Buddie for his confidence in me and the opportunity to lead this program," said King. "We made some great strides as team this fall and I'm looking forward to seeing what this group can accomplish this season."
Prior to his time at Ferris State, King served as the Diamonds Sports Training National Director of Coach & Player Development in Grand Rapids, Mich., where he acted as college coach liaison for player contact, oversaw the training of athletes and handled all softball-related duties.
King was the associate head softball coach at Syracuse from 2008-13, helping to guide the Orange to four straight 30-win seasons and consecutive Big East Conference Championship bids. Syracuse made its deepest postseason run ever in 2012 as the Orange advanced to the NCAA Regional finals and defeated its highest nationally-ranked opponent ever with a 1-0 victory against second-ranked Arizona State in the NCAA Tournament. SU finished the year listed among the nation's top 25-ranked teams for the first time.
Prior to joining the Syracuse staff, King served as the assistant coach at Trine University in Angola, Ind. While with the Thunder, King helped guide the squad to the most wins in school history (31) and its first national tournament appearance. The team set school records in runs (251), doubles (70), home runs (24), RBI (212) and had a league-best ERA. King served as a volunteer assistant coach and hitting instructor in 2006 at Bowling Green State University.
A National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) member, King began his coaching career on the collegiate level at Grand Rapids Community College as the assistant softball coach and head recruiter. During his three seasons with GRCC, he helped develop the program into a national title contender with back-to-back World Series appearances.
King also brings an extensive playing background with two of the world's top five teams in a fastpitch softball career that spanned from 1985-2003. Between 1998 and 2002, King was the starting centerfielder for the Midland Explorers, the fourth-ranked team in the world, and he spent 2003 with the third-ranked Waterloo Hallman Twins. He was a first-team All-American, as well as state and national tournament MVP with the Kamphuis Pipeline in 1997. In 1996, King helped lead the Midland Metros to the national championship.
A former prep standout at Forest Hills Central High School, King played collegiate baseball for Hope College from 1985-88 where he earned bachelor's degrees in both sociology and psychology. He later earned his master's degree in social work from Grand Valley State University in 1994.
Jamieson led the Paladin program for five seasons and posted a 151-129 record that included four consecutive winning seasons. He helped guide Furman to 33-28 mark and SoCon Tournament finals appearance in 2016 before leading the Paladins to a 31-23 overall record and SoCon regular season title last season.