The Norman Transcript

Headlines

December 20, 2013

Influential AD Wade Walker dies at age 90

Walker played for Wilkinson, hired Switzer

NORMAN — Oklahoma confirmed the passing of former All-American offensive lineman and athletic director Wade Walker on Thursday at the age of 90 in California.

Walker was one of three players in the program’s history to earn all-conference honors four straight years (1946-49). He was an essential element of the early teams during legendary coach Bud Wilkinson’s run of success.

Walker’s coaching career began in 1950 as an assistant at North Carolina State. He eventually joined the staff of former teammate Darryl Royal at Mississippi in 1954 and succeeded him as the Bulldogs’ head coach and athletic director in 1956.

It was his career as an athletic director that marked his greatest impact at OU and elsewhere.

“Wade’s many contributions to the University of Oklahoma will long be appreciated by Sooners everywhere,” OU athletic director Joe Castiglione said Thursday. “As an All-American player, he served as a team captain for Bud Wilkinson as he built the football program into a national powerhouse.

“More importantly, Wade’s legacy as OU’s longtime director of athletics ushered in an era of opportunities for women to represent the University of Oklahoma on officially sanctioned intercollegiate athletics teams.

“In addition to a litany of championship teams fielded many numerous sports, his vision for developing new facilities and improving existing OU venues is a thumbprint that still remains very visible on our campus to this day.”

During Walker’s tenure as athletic director from 1970-86, the Sooners won six national championships: football (three), men’s gymnastics (two) and wrestling (one). OU also claimed 43 conference titles during that time frame, led by 12 Big Eight football crowns.

Walker’s tenure also included OU’s initial women’s intercollegiate athletics programs during the 1974-75 academic year.

OU women’s programs claimed 10 conference championships under his guidance: women’s tennis (four), women’s gymnastics (three), women’s golf (two) and women’s basketball (one).

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • Bridge Businesses try to survive while bridge is closed

    Ray Cole wonders every day if his business will have to close. Cole is one of many Lexington and Purcell business owners struggling financially since the 76-year-old James C. Nance Memorial Bridge closed Jan. 31. The Oklahoma Department ...

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Storm scavengers now could face felony charges

    OKLAHOMA CITY— It wasn’t long after a devastating tornado hit Moore last year that scavengers were circling the wreckage. Already reeling, Moore residents had a new concern — fending off looters....

    April 15, 2014

  • Norman teachers excited about professional development

    Norman Public Schools’ teachers are focused on students and want to take advantage of professional development, Beth Spears, director of Staff Development and Student Achievement, said was the overall response teachers had to a recent ...

    April 15, 2014

  • Social justice dialogue part of University of Oklahoma program

    The University of Oklahoma kicked off Justice Week with a public forum Monday titled “Luis Rodriguez: No en Vano.” Critically acclaimed author, Esmeralda Santiago discussed the “Transformative Power of Art,” while joining five panelists ...

    April 15, 2014

  • Norman High Speech and Debate Team wins state championship

    Briar White’s heart pounded in his chest as he clasped the hands of several classmates and Booker T. Washington High School was announced as the second-place finisher. White said he was elated to hear second place announced because he ...

    April 16, 2014

  • General fund continues to decline as expenses exceed anticipated revenues

    Norman’s expenses will again outstrip projected revenue in the current budget before the city council. The budget for the fiscal year that starts in July and ends June 30, 2015, projects $210,982,020 in total revenues and $213,436,778 in ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Norman students accepted to arts institute

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Forty-nine Norman high school students have been accepted to the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain, an arts academy hosted June 14-29 in southwestern Oklahoma. The Norman students were among 270 artists ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Ukraine bares teeth against eastern uprising

    KRAMATORSK, Ukraine — In the first Ukrainian military action against a pro-Russian uprising in the east, government forces repelled an attack Tuesday by about 30 gunmen at an airport, beginning what the president called an “anti-terrorist ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Supremacist faces murder charges

    OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — The white supremacist charged in shootings that left three people dead at two Jewish community sites in suburban Kansas City made his first court appearance Tuesday....

    April 16, 2014

  • Oklahoma Senate approves limits on abortion drug

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Senate voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to further restrict the use of abortion-inducing drugs in Oklahoma in a bill written in direct response to a recent state Supreme Court decision....

    April 16, 2014