Former Mississippi State head football coach and athletic director Wade Walker passed away at his home at the age of 90 on Dec. 18.
A memorial service for Walker will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon at the Palm Desert (Calif.) Community Presbyterian Church.
Walker was born Nov. 29, 1923 in Mocksville, N.C., and served four years in the U.S. Navy. He later was a four-year All-Conference selection at Oklahoma and was selected as a first team All-American for the Sooners as a tackle in 1949.
Walker was selected by the Chicago Cardinals in the 1947 NFL Draft but opted to coach instead. He arrived at MSU in 1954 as line coach under Darryl Royal and was promoted to head coach two years later. Walker garnered Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year in 1957 and went 22-32-2 during his six years as head coach.
Walker also served as the Maroons (as the Bulldogs were then known) athletic director from 1956-66. He spent 12 years in Starkville total and was the athletic director who arranged the men’s basketball team to sneak out of Mississippi to play Loyola in the NCAA Tournament in the contest now known as “The Game of Change”.
Walker was also an assistant coach at N.C. State prior to his stint at MSU and later served as athletic director at Oklahoma from 1969-86.
Walker is survived by his wife Jean Herman Walker, five children, 16 grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.