Dorsey Tierney-Walker begins her fourth season as the co-women's head coach on the Auburn staff after directing the Tiger women's team to its fifth overall SEC title last season, the second of her career. Tierney-Walker has a 69-19-1 record in dual meets, including a 21-2 mark since taking over at Auburn.
The Tigers have definitely been impressive since she arrived on campus as Auburn has two NCAA team titles to go along with seven individual NCAA titles in her three years on campus. Auburn has also racked up 155 All-America honors from 30 different athletes. AU has also picked up 23 SEC individual titles along with two team titles since Tierney-Walker came to the Plains.
"Dorsey Tierney-Walker has a pretty extraordinary record here at Auburn, winning two NCAA Championships in the two years she has been here," said head coach Richard Quick. "I definitely think the intensity and the caring that she brings to her athletes is the reason that the women's team has been so successful the last two years. She is one of the really fine coaches in this country and she can coach the developing swimmer as well as the international-level athlete."
Last season, Tierney-Walker coached the Tigers to their fifth SEC team title, the second in a row, and a runner-up finish at the NCAA Championships. Auburn won nine SEC individual titles, including an American record 800 free relay, en route to scoring 761.5 points for the title in Tuscaloosa. At NCAAs, Ava Ohlgren picked up AU's lone individual title (200 IM) as the Tigers used a total team effort to finish second with 348 points.
In 2007-08, Auburn erased a 32-point final-day deficit for a 58-point victory over Arizona. In all, the Tigers earned 57 All-America honors from 19 student-athletes. The Tigers also picked up four individual NCAA titles as Rachel Goh won the 100 back, Ohlgren won the 400 IM, Hayley Peirsol won the 1,650 free and Adrienne Binder won the 500 free. Following the meet, Tierney-Walker and David Marsh shared the NCAA Coach of the Year honors.
The performance at NCAAs was a carry-over from a dominating performance at the SEC Championships. Earning her third conference title as a coach, Tierney-Walker led the Tigers to 899 points at SECs, beating out their nearest competitor, Georgia, by 228 points. Auburn won 10 SEC titles at the meet, including three by Ohlgren as she was named SEC Freshman of the Year. Tierney-Walker and Marsh picked up SEC Coach of the Year honors.
The 2006 NCAA Women's Championships will go down in history as the most exciting national meet ever, as the team race was decided by the final relay. Auburn came out on top by three points over defending national champion and host Georgia. Under the direction of Tierney-Walker 17 swimmers earned 53 All-America honors and two individuals were crowned national champions. In addition, Tierney-Walker saw three individuals and a relay to SEC crowns in her first season on The Plains.
Under the tutelage of Tierney-Walker, Hoosier swimmers claimed a total of 99 All-American certificates during her time in Bloomington. Additionally, Tierney-Walker's swimmers secured nine individual and two relay Big Ten titles. As a team, the Hoosiers finished in the top 16 at the NCAA Championships in each of her final four seasons, including a ninth-place finish in 2005, the highest finish in Indiana history.
The 2001 and 2002 Big Ten Coach of the Year, Tierney-Walker inherited a team that finished fifth in the conference the season prior to her first year at the helm of the Indiana program. Seven seasons later, she had coached IU to five top-three finishes in the Big Ten and amassed a 47-17-1 (.731) dual meet record.
In 2005, her final season at Indiana, the Hoosiers had five swimmers earn a total of 17 All-America honors while in 2004, 12 swimmers claimed honorable mention All-American honors in some fashion.
The 2004 season also saw another first for a Tierney-Walker as she instructed the 200 freestyle relay team of Annica Lofstedt, Erin Smith, Tammy Kostner and Meghan Medendorp to All-America honors with an eighth-place finish. It was the first time during her tenure that a Hoosier relay team qualified for the championship finals.
In six out of Tierney-Walker's seven years, a Hoosier relay or individual claimed a Big Ten title. Remarkably, over her last four years, Tierney-Walker's swimmers broke every IU swimming record.
During the 2003-04 season, IU set 10 school records and prior to that, the 2002-03 campaign, 12 of the 19 records fell, including four of five relays. At the 2001 Big Ten Championships, her swimmers broke 18 of the 19 IU swimming records and set 36 personal best times.
At the 2003 Big Ten Championships, Indiana outdistanced second-place Wisconsin, 595-561, behind the force of tremendous team depth. At the 2002 Big Ten Championships, the Hoosiers fell just short of winning the school's first Big Ten Championship since 1981 as the team took second to Penn State.
In addition to Tierney-Walker's Coach of the Year recognition at the 2001 and 2002 Big Ten Championships, Indiana's Susan Woessner received Swimmer of the Year (2002) and Jen Cristy won Big Ten Swimmer of the Championships (2001).
Before her stint at Indiana, Tierney-Walker served as an assistant coach at swimming powerhouse Southern Methodist. During her three-year stay at SMU, the Mustangs grabbed three top-four finishes at the NCAA Championships, taking second in 1996, third in 1997 and fourth in 1998. They also were crowned the Western Athletic Conference champions in 1997 and 1998.
Internationally, Tierney-Walker served as an assistant coach for the United States at the World University Games in 2001, coaching Woessner to a silver medal in the 100m backstroke, a bronze medal in the 50m backstroke and a silver medal as a part of the 400m medley relay team.
Tierney-Walker made her way back on the World University Games coaching staff for the 2007 Games in Bangkok, Thailand. Being able to coach on the team was made even more special as she coached alongside her brother, Jimmy Tierney, who is the women's head coach at Northwestern. The siblings coached under UCLA's Cyndi Gallagher. The United States women's team picked up 10 medals at the Pan-Am Games with four of those being gold. The U.S. also had three silver and three bronze.
She also gained international head coaching experience as the coach for the Egyptian National Team at the 1997 Mediterranean Games, where one of her swimmers, a SMU recruit originally from Egypt, finished with three gold medals.
While her coaching career is well documented, so are Tierney-Walker's swimming accomplishments. In 1987, she earned her first gold medal in the 200m breaststroke at the Pan-American Games in Indianapolis.
In 1991, she was ranked third in the world in the 200 breaststroke and in that same year she was named captain of the USA National Team at the Pan-American Games held in Havana, Cuba, where she collected three gold medals and set the Pan-Am Games record in the 200 breaststroke.
A finalist in the 1988 and 1992 Olympic Trials, she swam for the University of Texas where she was a member of the 1990 and 1991 Longhorn National Championship teams. With the Longhorns, she set an NCAA record winning the 200 breaststroke in 1991. A two-time captain, she collected 16 All-American honors.
Tierney-Walker earned her bachelor's degree in English with a minor in history in 1992 from Texas. Upon graduation, she began her coaching career at Texas as an assistant coach in 1992. In 1993, she took the assistant's role at the Texas Aquatic Club and Texas Gold Swim Team.
Following her experience in Texas, she moved to Amherst, Mass., to accept a graduate assistant coaching position at the University of Massachusetts. The Minutewomen posted a 10-11-1 under head coach Bob Newcomb while Tierney-Walker was there. During her two years at Massachusetts, she helped guide the team to a school-record third-place finish at the Mid-Atlantic Conference Championships. The next season, UMass switched to the Atlantic 10 conference and finished fifth in their first year in the league. In 1995, she obtained a masters of science in sports management from Massachusetts.
Tierney-Walker was an also an assistant at Indiana in 1995 under Nancy Nitardy before heading to SMU.
Tierney-Walker is married to Jeff Walker. Her brother, Jimmy Tierney, is the head coach of the women's program at Northwestern and is in his 14th season with the Wildcats.