July 3, 2015
By Matt Winkeljohn
The Good Word
Metra Walthour has known for quite a while that she wanted to make a career out of basketball, but only a second spin through Georgia Tech has confirmed for the former Yellow Jacket how she will go about that.
As the new assistant director of operations for women’s head coach MaChelle Joseph, she’s chosen a path. After two seasons spent as a graduate assistant on The Flats with a little coaching and administration mixed in, Walthour wants to go brass.
She was quite a distributor for the most successful Tech teams ever, from 2008-2012. The Jackets won 95 games in her four seasons, setting school records her senior season with 26 wins and 10 on the road. Tech went to the ACC Championship Game and the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2012, with her pulling triggers.
Yet upon graduating that May with a degree in Science, Technology and Culture, the Hinesville, Ga., native wasn’t sure what to do next. She didn’t plan to play competitively any longer, but seized an opportunity to play in the Czech Republic.
That did not last long. Upon returning to the U.S., she pondered her next step. Joseph helped.
“When I got back, I decided I did not want to do so much back and forth, looking for teams and all that, and I started interning at the Women’s Basketball Coaching Association in Lilburn,” she recalled. “I headed up the, ‘So you want to be a coach,’ internship for the  Final Four.
“When I was going through the process of job searching after the internship, [Joseph] was helping me with contacts, trying to help me find a job. She asked if I would be interested in a position where I could go back to school. I felt like I had to go back to school, that I’d have a better chance with a second degree.”
Walthour, 25, will finish work this summer on a master’s degree in business administration.
That fits the former Jacket who put up numbers while playing for Tech. She finished her career third in games played (128), fifth in assists (398), and seventh in three pointers made and attempted (125/389). In each of her four seasons, the Jackets won at least 20 games with the 5-foot-6 Walthour usually at the helm.
As a graduate assistant, she did some of everything for two seasons.
Her job description now is more defined as she works for Joseph and director of operations Catherine Greene.
“I work closely with coach M.L. Willis, who is the recruiting coordinator. I keep databases for all the recruiting classes,” she explained. “I’m involved with community service, and academics with coach [Kevin] Morrison. I will be the liaison between him and academics.
“I will be involved in equipment, but right now the main part is working in recruiting, more administrative. I’m setting up [recruiting] visits, and pulling things together. Once we move into the season, it will be more scheduling as far as our facility, our home practices, our away practices, opponent’s practices here. It will move more into scheduling meals and all of that stuff.”
It’s not uncommon for former college student-athletes to wind their way into careers in administration within college athletics.
Tech athletic director Mike Bobinski played baseball at Notre Dame.
Several other administrators have similar backgrounds, including Marvin Lewis (basketball, Tech), Doug Allvine (football, Tech), Theresa Wenzel (basketball, Marquette), Randy Rhino (football, Tech), Lucious Sanford (football, Tech), Leah Thomas (track/cross country, Chattanooga), Brett Daniels (track/cross country, SMU), Shoshanna Engel (gymnastics, Yale) and Lee Hendrickson (rugby, Furman).
Few of them, if any, still find time to play their game. Walthour does.
“I play a little pickup. They have some women’s leagues in Atlanta that I don’t have the time to play in full time, but every now and then I’ll still play,” she said.
“Sometimes on campus, or local YMCAs where the leagues are, wherever I can find a group of girls who like to play. I still work out. I never liked to run, but now I do more running.”
Down the road, Walthour will seek to move deeper into administration.
“When I came back to be a GA in 2013 I knew I wanted to go into coaching or administrative duties, and they kind of gave me a little of both,” she said. “In those two years, I decided I wanted to take the administrative route because the ultimate goal would be high-level senior women’s administration.
“I enjoy being involved in the community, and pulling everything in line that a team does. I’ve done a lot of research. For me, the next step would be to become the director of operations of a high-level program. It doesn’t necessarily have to be women’s basketball, but that’s my strong suit. I’ve conversed with a lot of different jobs. There is so much professional development available these days.”