Tom Walter has taught his players about more than baseball during his decades as an NCAA Division I college coach.
Walter made national news early in 2011 when he donated one of his kidneys to a player on his Wake Forest University baseball team even though Walter only recently had taken the reins of the Demon Deacons program and the player, Kevin Jordan, had yet to play a game.
During his successful tenure at the University of New Orleans, Walter helped the program persevere through the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The New Orleans players and coaches even had to relocate to New Mexico for a season.
His more than 500 coaching wins and a Division I college baseball career are two more conventional reasons Walter is headed into the Cambria County Sports Hall of Fame. Walter will be inducted into the Class of 2012 during a banquet at the Pasquerilla Conference Center on July 14.
The Greater Johnstown High School graduate and former AAABA Tournament star had had his share of on-field success:
- Walter has 502 wins in 16 seasons as a Division I head coach
- Wake Forest went 33-24 this spring and advanced to the ACC Tournament
- In five seasons at the University of New Orleans, Walter’s teams went 153-147 with two NCAA berths.
- In eight seasons as coach at George Washington University, Walter had a 275-184 record and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
- A school-record six Wake Forest players were selected in the June 2012 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
- University of New Orleans had seven players drafted in 2008.
Walter also coached in the highly-touted Cape Cod League, a summer wooden bat college-affiliated organization. He spent two seasons as an assistant general manager of the Greensboro, N.C., Bats, a New York Yankees affiliate.
A catcher, he started four seasons as a player at Georgetown University and was a two-time team captain. He earned MVP honors in the Johnstown Junior League and played in three AAABA Tournaments. Walter was inducted into the AAABA Hall of Fame last summer and he earned GJSD’s 2011 John P. Murtha Friend in Education Award.
Walter has two children, son Chase, 13; and daughter, Kasey, 10. He resides in Winston-Salem, N.C.