Dr. Leroy Walker passed away two days ago. He was an icon in US track & Field, for that matter in US Sport. I did not know Dr. Walker personally but the memory of him etched in my mind was of a training session I was privileged to watch in 1972 at the US Olympic trials in Eugene Oregon. I was a young 25-year-old junior high school coach who had been coaching for four years. I literally camped out at the track watching every workout I could, listening to every conversation that I could hear, a sponge for knowledge trying to learn everything I could. One morning I got to watch Dr Walker work with his outstanding 200-meter runner, Larry Black. I was peripherally aware of who Dr. Walker was at the time. I was amazed at the attention to detail and the things he was pointing out that they were working on. They were fine tuning Black's turn technique in the 2000 meters. Specifically on running the line, tilting and turning the shoulders and the correct arm action. What a session, I have never forgotten it. Any of you may recall that Larry Black was a great turn runner, mabe one of the best ever, it made me realize it was not by chance. A terrific lesson for a young coach, that the best keep working to get better.Coaching matters.
Over the years I heard Dr. Walker speak at several conventions. He was a great orator, very articulate and eloquent in his speech. His message was always clear, it was a about coaching and teaching, about character and human values. The world, especially the world of track and field was a better place because of Leroy Walker. Today we need more Leroy Walkers to lead us, to get the sport right again.