JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 19, 2012) – The ETSU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and representatives of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame will be present Monday night to congratulate the Buccaneers’ longtime track and field/cross country head coach Dave Walker for being selected as a 2012 inductee into the TSHA.
Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame President Bill Emendorfer, ETSU Director of Intercollegiate Atheltics Dave Mullins and ETSU President Dr. Brian Noland will join with the entire Buccaneer family in honoring Walker during halftime of the Bucs’ men’s basketball game with Belmont.
Current and former ETSU athletes who have competed for Walker are also encouraged to attend the game and be a part of this special evening.
Walker, who is one of 10 inductees that will be enshrined during the TSHA’s annual banquet on Saturday, May 19, at the Renaissance Hotel in Nashville, received 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 10 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.