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David E. Walker to be inducted into the Track Coaches Hall of Fame
Tuesday, October 28, 2003JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (October 28, 2003) - The United States Track Coaches Association (USTCA) has announced that East Tennessee State's head coach, David E. Walker, will be inducted into the Track Coaches Hall of Fame on Saturday, December 6 at noon at the Sheraton Five Seasons in Greensboro, N.C. Walker will be honored along with Al Buehler (Duke University), Frank Gagliano (Georgetown University), Bob Larsen (UCLA), Doug Raymond (Kent State University), and Margaret Simmons (Murray State University) at the luncheon ceremony. "I feel honored to be considered in such an elite field of legendary coaches and administrators from the track and field community," commented Walker. He will join the ranks of distinguished track legends such as Bill Bowerman, Don Canham, Bob Timmons, John McDonnell, Ed Temple, Jimmy Carnes, Sam Bell, and others, who have already been inducted into the Hall of Fame. This is the eighth Hall of Fame induction ceremony. The Hall of Fame honors coaches who have made an outstanding contribution to the sport of track & field and to the lives of numerous men and women throughout the United States. During his 40 years at the helm of the Buccaneer track and field program, Walker has produced 30 All-Americans along with numerous other track and cross country stars in the Ohio Valley and Southern Conferences. During his tenure, Walker has developed a number of world-class runners, including Robert Rovere and Kevin Johnson, both four-time All-Americans; Ray Flynn, who became one of the five top milers in the world; and Neil Cusack, the 1972 NCAA cross country national champion and the winner of the Boston Marathon in 1974. He has recruited student-athletes from all over the globe, but perhaps is most famous for establishing a fine tradition of Irish runners at East Tennessee State. His most famous team, the "Irish Brigade," took second place at the 1972 NCAA Cross Country Championships. The squad, comprised of five Irishmen (Neil Cusack, Ed Leddy, P.J. Leddy, Ray McBride, and Kevin Breen), earned ETSU's highest national ranking in the sport. Walker's 1975 squad finished fifth at the NCAA Cross Country Championships and won the U.S. Track and Field Federation (USTAFF) Championship. Every member of the team earned All-America honors. Since 1969, Walker's men's teams have won 20 conference championships, finished second seven times and third once. His squads have finished in the top-10 11 times. Walker has groomed three Olympians (for Ireland) in Flynn, Ed Leddy, and Cusack. Leddy and Cusack both competed in the 1972 Olympics while Flynn competed in 1980 and 1984. Cusack is the only Buccaneer to win the NCAA Cross Country Championship (1972) and the Boston Marathon (1974). Walker has not only coached athletes with impressive track records, he has an outstanding record himself. Walker has earned some 20 Coach-of-the-Year honors and been named District Coach-of-the-Year 10 times. Walker's squad has not only dominated the Southern Conference, but has made a name for ETSU in the NCAA district. He carried his cross country team to 14 consecutive national championship appearances from 1970 to 1983, an NCAA record for a coach at the time. ETSU has competed as a team at the event a total of 16 times. Off the track, Walker served on the NCAA Track and Field Committee for six-years including a five-year term as chairman. Those who wish to attend the luncheon ceremony can purchase tickets for $25 each through the USTCA by calling (352) 336-6915.
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