Tarik Walker, a forward with the original Harrisburg franchise in the mid-1990s, is the Heat’s new coach, the Major Arena Soccer League team announced today.
Walker, 42, succeeds Richard Chinapoo, the indoor soccer icon and Hall of Famer who coached the Heat in the first two seasons of the franchise’s return to the indoor game in 2012. Chinapoo resigned after the 2013-14 season to join his family in Miami and to be closer to his native Trinidad & Tobago.
Walker inherits a team that went 10-22 in its first two seasons in the Professional Arena Soccer League, which recently added six teams from the dissolved Major Indoor Soccer League to form the new 24-team MASL.
Walker, born and raised in Washington, D.C., had a long and distinguished career playing the indoor game, starting during the 1993-94 season with the old Baltimore Spirit and being named the National Professional Soccer League’s rookie of the year.
Walker joined the original Heat midway through the 1994-95 season, when he was traded from Baltimore to Harrisburg along with midfielder Steve Boardman for All-Star midfielder Franklin McIntosh.
Walker eventually returned to Baltimore, where he played for 10 seasons and was a two-time All-Star before retiring after the 2006-07 season. During his time there, Walker helped Baltimore win MISL championships in 2003, 2004 and 2006.
He retired second on Baltimore’s all-time scoring list with 582 points, as well as No. 2 in total goals, two-point goals and game-winning goals. He was inducted into the Blast’s Hall of Fame during the 2012-13 season.
Walker also played professionally indoors with Milwaukee, where he helped the Wave win the NPSL title in 1998, as well as with Las Vegas and Washington.
He lives in Baltimore with his wife, Rochelle, and sons, Sammie and Jaxon.
The Heat start Season Three of their new era in November with the home portion of their 20-game schedule being played in the State Farm Show’s 7,300-seat Large Arena, where the original franchise played 12 seasons from 1991-2003.
Article courtesy of the Harrisburg Heat