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Former Clarion All-American Named High School ‘Coach of the Year’
PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Art Walker, a 1991 Third Team Football All-American at Clarion and a 1992 graduate, was named recently as the 2012 National High School Football “Coach of the Year”, by the National Sports News Service.
(Photo: Art Walker & Father Art Walker – with sons from left Casey, Brady and Derek with PIAA Championship Trophy.)
Walker, the head football coach at North Allegheny High School near Pittsburgh, Pa., is only the third Pennsylvania coach to receive the award since 1970, and the first since Mike Pettine of Central Bucks West earned the award in 1998.
“This is a great honor, but I accept this on behalf of my staff and team, for without them this would not have been possible,” said Walker. “Our players work very hard and our administration is so supportive, but I want to say without a doubt I am blessed to have the best coaching staff in the state, ” said the humble Walker.
Walker led North Allegheny to a 16-0 record in 2012, the team’s third straight Class AAAA WPIAL Title and the team’s second PIAA Class AAAA Championship in three seasons.
Walker has an unbelievable record of 45-2 over the past three seasons, and has been the head coach at North Allegheney from 2005-2012 (8 years). His overall record with the Tigers is 85-18, while his seven stint at Central Catholic High School in Pittsburgh from 1998-2004 was 61-23 and included 2 WPIAL Titles and 1 PIAA Crown. He has a career record of 146-41.
A four-year letterwinner and starter at Clarion from 1988-91 at wide receiver, plus utilized as a punt and kickoff returner, Walker had an outstanding senior season at Clarion in 1991 when he caught 44 passes for 673 yards and 4 td’s, and was the team’s captain under head coach Gene Sobolewski. He was a first team PSAC-West selection and a Third Team FB Gazette All-American.
Walker also led the team in 1990 when he grabbed 26 passes for 372 yards and 3 td’s. In his career Walker finished with 86 catches for 1,316 yards and 9 td’s.
“I have great memories of Clarion University and my time spent as a Golden Eagle,” said Walker. “I had a great experience and would certainly do it all over again. I also learned a lot about football from coach Sobolewski, offensive coordinator Tim Karrs – things I am still applying today. ”
CLARION NOTES: This season North Allegheny outscored 16 foes by 671-140, capped by a 63-28 title game rout of Coatesville. The 63 points set a state title game record in any class while the 28 first-quarter points and 26 overall first downs tied marks. The Tigers won playoff games by 42-14, 42-14, 47-17, 21-14, 56-6, 45-10 and 63-28… Walker is the son of coaching legend Art Walker – who had an outstanding coaching career at Mt. Lebanon 1967 – 87 and at Shadyside Academy (1994-98) where he compiled a record of 207-73-6… He won 5 WPIAL titles at Mt. Lebo and 1 at Shadyside… Art’s sister Carrie Walker – now Carrie Walker Hansberry, also attended Clarion and was a 1991 graduate … she was an outstanding volleyball player with the Golden Eagles from 1987 – 1990 and was part of Clarion’s first PSAC championship team in 1988.
National Coaches of the Year (1970-2012)
2012 – Art Walker (North Allegheny, Wexford, Pa.)
2011 – Bob Milloy (Good Counsel, Olney, Md.)
2010 – Greg Toal (Don Bosco Prep, Ramsey, N.J.)
2009 – Dick Basham (Marquette, Milwaukee, Wis.)
2008 – George Smith (St. Thomas Aquinas, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
2007 – Mike Grant (Eden Prairie, Eden Prairie, Minn.)
2006 – J.T. Curtis (John Curtis, River Ridge, La.)
2005 – Ricky Woods (South Panola, Batesville, Miss.)
2004 – Gary Rankin (Riverdale, Murfreesboro, Tenn.)
2003 – Tom Knott (Independence, Charlotte, N.C.)
2002 – Gene Wier (North, Olathe, Kan.)
2001 – Dave Carruthers (Urbana, Ijamsville, Md.)
2000 – John Herrington (Harrison, Farmington Hills, Mich.)
1999 – Roger DuPaix (Skyline, Salt Lake City, Utah)
1998 – Mike Pettine (Central Bucks West, Doylestown, Pa.)
1997 – Chris Geesman (Penn, Mishawaka, Ind.)
1996 – Bob Ladouceur (De La Salle, Concord, Calif.)
1995 – Chuck Kyle (St. Ignatius, Cleveland, Ohio)
1994 – Bruce Rollinson (Mater Dei, Santa Ana, Calif.)
1993 – Pete Adkins (Jefferson City, Mo.)
1992 – George Curry (Berwick, Pa.)
1991 – Dick Dullaghan (Ben Davis, Indianapolis, Ind.)
1990 – Billy Gillum (Ruston, La.)
1989 – Cal Lee (St. Louis, Honolulu, Hawaii)
1988 – Harold Clark (Vigor, Prichard, Ala.)
1987 – Lou Rettino (Union, N.J.)
1986 – Nick Hyder (Valdosta, Ga.)
1985 – Charlie Wedemeyer (Los Gatos, Calif.)
1984 – John McKissisk (Summerville, S.C.)
1983 – Bob Shannon (East St. Louis, Ill.)
1982 – Fred Tesone (Cherry Creek, Englewood, Colo.)
1981 – Marijon Ancich (St. Paul, Santa Fe Springs, Calif.)
1980 – Gerry Faust (Moeller, Cincinnati, Ohio)
1979 – Ron Lancaster (Cordova, Rancho Cordova, Calif.)
1978 – Gordon Wood (Brownswood, Texas)
1977 – Chris Ferragamo (Banning, Wilmington, Calif.)
1976 – Calvin Chai (Kamehameha, Honolulu, Hawaii)
1975 – Sid Cichy (Shanley, Fargo, N.D.)
1974 – Dick Haines (Vista, Calif.)
1973 – E.B. Etter (Baylor, Chattanooga, Tenn.)
1972 – Gary Kehler (Westfield, N.J.)
1971 – Herman Boone (T.C. Williams, Alexandria, Va.)
1970 – Travis Raven (Reagan, Austin, Texas)
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