Florida softball coach Walton agrees to 10-year extension

June 6, 2018

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) Florida coach Tim Walton has agreed to a 10-year contract extension after leading the Gators to the Women's College World Series for the ninth time in 13 seasons.

Since Walton's arrival in 2006, no program has reached the WCWS more often than Florida.

The five-time Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year is 845-213 in 16 seasons as a head coach, including three at Wichita State. He has the highest winning percentage (.799) among active Division I softball coaches.

Florida went 1-2 at the world series last week, beating Georgia 11-3 in five innings. Walton was ejected in the seventh inning of the 6-5 loss to UCLA for arguing with the umpire about the strike zone. He wasn't suspended for the next game, a 1-0 loss to Oklahoma that eliminated the Gators.

Walton has guided Florida to four straight SEC regular-season titles. Florida won national championships in 2014 and 2015. UCLA, Arizona and Florida are the only schools to win consecutive titles in the sport.

Athletic director Scott Stricklin says ''anytime you have someone who does a phenomenal job, you want them to know they are valued and appreciated, and that the commitment is going to be there for a long time.''

In March 2017, Walton apologized for a shoving match with Auburn shortstop Haley Fagan during postgame handshakes.