Former Watterson coach Walker, 80, dies | News | Bishop Watterson

Former Bishop Watterson teacher and coach Walker, 80 dies

Richard L. Walker
Columbus Dispatch Obituary
Richard L. Walker, recently of Las Vegas, NV, age 79, died Monday January 14, 2013. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio and formerly married to Eleanor D. Walker of Columbus. He is survived by Eleanor and their children, Thomas (spouse, Dianna), Kim (Dick Kurth) and Brad (Angela); grandchildren, Danny, Thomas, and Lauren Kurth, Lennon and Sienna Walker. He served in the US Army as a Lieutenant. He was a graduate of John Carroll University, inducted into the JCU Hall of Fame, with Masters Degree from OSU. He was a History teacher and head football coach at Watterson HS (Columbus, OH - where his 1966 team won the State of Ohio Football Championship), assistant coach at the University of Toledo, US Naval Academy, The Ohio State University (5 Big Ten Championships, National Championship), New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers (2 Super Bowl Championships) and stints with the USFL and CFL. "Dick" ("Doak") Walker was born of less than privileged means, however, a chance meeting led to a "try out" and eventual football scholarship at John Carroll University that changed his life potential and trajectory. He devoted his career to the development and betterment of young men, and people in general. The experiences he gained, people he met, and those he influenced during his lifetime - are his legacy. With regard to this legacy, he died one of the wealthiest men on the planet. There will be no funeral arrangements.

A memorial mass and reception will be held in Columbus, Ohio January 26, 2013 at Bishop Watterson H.S. The mass, performed by the Rev. Michael Watson, will begin at 11 a.m. with reception at 12Noon. The family wishes that, in lieu of flowers, donations be designated to the "Bishop Watterson Football Coaches Legend Endowment Fund." Interested individuals may make their gifts out to "Bishop Watterson High School," with the fund named in the memo line, and mailed to Watterson HS (attn: Jenifer Rasor), 99 East Cooke Rd., Columbus, OH 43214, or contact Jenifer direct at (614) 268-3041. Email:

The Columbus Dispatch, Tuesday January 15, 2013

Dick Walker, who coached Watterson to a victory over Upper Arlington in 1966 in one of the biggest high-school football games in central Ohio before moving on to an assistant coaching career that included stops at Ohio State and with the Pittsburgh Steelers, died yesterday in Las Vegas.He was 80.

According to his family, Walker succumbed to complications from a broken neck suffered when his car was hit by another whose driver ran a red light about a week ago. The news left Ray Griffin, an All-America safety at Ohio State during Walker’s time there, in shock because Walker was in such good shape. Griffin said they had spoken about 21/2 weeks ago by telephone, “with him wanting to know if I could help him get a coaching job back here in the Columbus area; that’s how healthy Dick Walker was.”Walker, a Cleveland native who went to John Carroll University, went 51-11-3 in seven seasons at Watterson. His career there was capped by a 32-0 victory over Upper Arlington in a game between unbeatens, televised live in Columbus, that earned Watterson the Associated Press and United Press International state-title trophies.

He joined coach Woody Hayes’ staff at Ohio State in 1969. Walker helped the Buckeyes to seven Big Ten titles through ’76 before stepping into the pro ranks, where he worked with the Steelers in their Super Bowl seasons of 1978 and ’79. Walker also coached in the CFL and other high schools before going into semi-retirement in Las Vegas.

“This is a big loss for me personally,” said Griffin, recalling how Walker talked him into switching to defense from offense at Ohio State, where he had been a backup running back to his two-time Heisman Trophy-winning brother, Archie. The family is planning a memorial service in Columbus, said Josh Johnson, who worked at Ohio State with Walker. Details had not been completed last night.

Columbus Dispatch click here

BWHS Coaching Summary - Summarizes the overall record of each of Watterson’s eight coaches
click here

BWHS vs Upper Arlington 1966, commemorative video click here

1966 Football Team