Lance Walker, PT, MS
Seamlessly integrating multidisciplinary sports performance training, sports medicine and applied sports science experience spanning all levels of competition across 31 different sport disciplines, Lance Walker leads the Human Performance and Nutrition Research Institute. Prior to being named Rick and Gail Muncrief Executive Director, Walker most recently served as Global Director of Performance at Michael Johnson Performance (MJP). Over the past 15 years, Walker was responsible for performance training, sport science support, injury prevention and return-to-sport rehabilitation for thousands of athletes of all ages around the world. While based in Dallas, he directed operations in sports science, sports performance and sports medicine for the company in the United States and across the globe, including Azerbaijan, England, Trinidad & Tobago, China, Greece and Brazil. He was successful in product development, systems structure, staff development, program implementation and quality-assurance for all MJP operations, including licensed facilities around the world including SPIRE Academy and locations in Dubai and Philippines.
International High-Performance Athletes, Teams and Organizations
Walker’s experience includes successful leadership for the training, applied sport science monitoring and integrated physical rehabilitation needs of over 500 professional athletes from the NBA, NFL, CFL, MLB, PGA, CBA, NHL, English Premier League, professional tennis and professional track & field. Current and past athletes include first-round NFL/NBA/CHL/MLB draft choices, Olympic gold medalists, Olympic and Paralympic world champions, world record holders, Champions League stars, and NFL Hall of Famers. Prior to MJP, Lance served two seasons as an assistant strength and conditioning coach with the Dallas Cowboys under the tutelage of strength coach Joe Juraszek and legendary football coach Bill Parcells. The MJP programs, systems and staff served thousands of youth athletes, from local youth and club teams to international sporting federations, supporting the design, implementation and monitoring of long-term athlete development programs and talent identification initiatives.
Innovation, Education and Research
A well-recognized authority in his field, Walker has contributed to over 50 professional publications in sport science and presented at over 100 national conferences and 25 international courses. He was a major content and insight contributor to the Nike Innovation Kitchen and a previous member of the Nike Performance Council. He also served as a liaison for Nike Science and Research projects at a first-of-a-kind integrated Nike/MJP applied sport science lab, providing insights to athletes, coaches and key stakeholders in the areas of product optimization, performance training, injury risk reduction, athlete recovery and young athlete development.
Integrating Sports Performance, Sport Science and Sports Medicine
Walker has a proven and unique background (both applied/practical experience and formal education) in combining strength and conditioning, sports medicine and sports science at the youth, high school, collegiate and professional levels supporting athletes of all ages and competitive levels. Prior to his work at MJP and with the Dallas Cowboys, Lance held high-performance director positions at the University of Oklahoma (working with all NCAA sports teams on campus, including football) and the Casady School (Oklahoma City), where he developed custom and unique approach to seamlessly implement sports performance, sports medicine and sport science with teams across all scholastic sports and ages from 9-18 years, including football, basketball, track, golf, gymnastics, wrestling, tennis, volleyball and field hockey.
Education and Experience
A 1993 graduate of Kansas State University with a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology, Walker earned three varsity football letters and attained Phillip’s 66 Honorable Mention Academic All-Big 8 honors. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from the University of Oklahoma and a master’s degree in exercise physiology from the University of Oklahoma. Lance is a licensed physical therapist in the state of Texas and has been practicing sports physical therapy for 25 years. Lance received his physical therapy degree from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. In addition to his clinical roles, he has served the academic side of the allied health profession at the University of Oklahoma as an adjunct professor, guest lecturer and published researcher. His career sports medicine and performance training experiences have spanned the entire age-continuum, from global assignments with professional clubs, collegiate athletic programs, elite high school athletic departments and elementary education and grass roots programs.
Combining his sports medicine and the rehab sciences background with 30 years of performance training experience, Walker specializes in the return-to-sport phases of rehabilitation, injury prevention solutions and long-term speed and power training prescription. His past work integrating sports science, sports performance and sports medicine includes collaborations with the Dallas Stars, FC Dallas, Arsenal FC, England FA, Manchester United FC, Williams Formula One Racing, Fluminense FC, English Football Association, Brazil Olympic and Paralympic Committee, Cayman Islands Olympic Committee, Trinidad & Tobago Olympic Federation, and Azerbaijan Olympic Federation. Walker consults internationally on topics such as sport-relevant performance training integration in high-performance programming, biomechanics of speed enhancement, and training systems for long-term athletic development.