Walker set to be inducted into Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame

Friday, May 18, 2012

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (May 18, 2012) – ETSU track and field head coach Dave Walker will be inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame on Saturday at the Renaissance Hotel in Nashville.

Walker is one of 10 inductees that will be enshrined during the TSHoF’s annual banquet. Other members of the 2012 class include Rick Insell, Gene Bartow, James Marsalis, Bill Dance, Tim Jackson, Gibby Gilbert, Zan Guerry, Brig. General Austin Conner Shofner and Jeff Byrd.

ETSU’s living legend earned both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from ETSU. He has coached 34 All-Americans during his tenure in Johnson City. Not only has Walker led the Bucs to 22 cross country conference championships and 11 track and field conference titles, but he also groomed three Olympians – Ed Leddy, Neil Cusack, and Ray Flynn.

When asked back in December about being named to the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, Walker was honored and surprised to be selected.

“It was a pleasant surprise when I received the news,” said Walker. “This is quite an accomplishment and it’s an honor to be named to the Hall of Fame. There are a lot of talented people who are already in the Hall of Fame and I’m grateful to join this elite group.”

In addition to being named to the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, Walker was also inducted into U.S. Track Coaches Association Hall of Fame (2003) and the ETSU Hall of Fame (1996).

Walker has enjoyed a lot of success in cross country and track and field at ETSU, as he coached Neil Cusack to the 1972 NCAA Cross Country National Championship title, while his famous “Irish Brigade” team was the runner-up the same year. From 1970-83, Walker carried his cross country teams to 14 consecutive NCAA National Championship appearances, which was an NCAA record for a coach at the current time.

In terms of coaches and all-around people, Walker is one of the most well-respected individuals in the industry. Walker has received the U.S. Track Meet Directors Howard Schmertz Lifetime Achievement Award, while the NCAA Men’s South Regional Cross Country Coach of the Year honor has been named on his behalf.

The induction festivities will begin on Saturday with a lunch to honor Tennessean of The Year Coach Pat Summitt. Tickets to the luncheon are $40 and tickets to that night’s awards banquet are $125 each.

For more information on ETSU track and field, please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the track and field links.

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