Benedict Alum, Track and Field Legend LeRoy Walker Dies
[mpoverlay]Benedict College alum and track and field icon Dr. LeRoy Walker died today at the age of 93. Dr. Walker was among the greatest coaches in the history of amateur track and field, coaching Olympians from North Carolina Central University and serving as the first black head coach of the men’s Olympic team in 1976, and first black president of the U.S. Olympic Committee 20 years later.
During Walker’s coaching career at North Carolina Central, he coached athletes to 11 Olympic medals and sent track & field athletes to every Olympic Games from 1956 to 1980. His stellar reputation began when Lee Calhoun won back-to-back Gold Medals in the 110m hurdles in the 1956 and 1960 Summer Games. In all, Walker coached eight Olympians, 30 national champions, and 80 All Americans. He also served as a coach or consultant for several foreign Olympic Teams from 1960 through 1972, and in 1976, he was named the U.S. men’s head coach, the first African-American man to serve in that position.
Walker also served in a number of national leadership roles for the sport of track & field. He was chairman of the AAU men’s track & field committee from 1973-76 and the coordinator of coaching assignments for the AAU and TAC (forerunner to USATF) from 1973-80. He became TAC president from 1984-88 and later served as senior vice president for sport of the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games. He also served as President of the U.S. Olympic Committee from 1992-96.
Dr. Walker also served as chancellor of NCCU from 1983-86[/mpoverlay]