Dr. Christopher Walker Honored with SCIAC Distinguished Service Award
It was announced at the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Awards Banquet last month that University of Redlands’ former Faculty Athletic Representative (FAR), Dr. Christopher N. Walker, received the SCIAC Distinguished Service Award.
“Dr. Walker is a Redlands Bulldog treasure and we are all proud to see him win this distinguished award,” stated Head Football Coach Mike Maynard.
Walker is the 24th recipient of the award in the 98th year of the SCIAC, making him the fourth Bulldog to earn this prestigious honor. He joins the company of longtime men’s basketball coach Gary Smith, Bulldog Athletics legend Ted Runner, and celebrated tennis coach Jim Verdieck as fellow honorees.
“This award means a great deal to me,” Walker commented. “When I look at the individuals who have been past honorees, many of whom I have worked with, it is a particular honor to be numbered among that group.”
Serving as the Bulldogs’ FAR for 25 years, Walker has revealed his deep passion for sports and his commitment to the student-athlete experience. His contributions to the SCIAC and the NCAA are too many to list but include service as secretary, treasurer, and chair of the SCIAC FAR Committee during his uninterrupted tenure.
He also acted as the NCAA Division III Chair of the Management Council in 2002, becoming the first FAR to do so in its history.
In addition, Walker has contributed as a member of seven major NCAA committees during his time as FAR and stepped into the role of Interim Director of Athletics at the University of Redlands from 1988-1990.
“Dr. Walker has been dedicated, passionate, and completely committed to ensuring the Division III student-athlete experience is the best it can be on our campus, within the SCIAC, and throughout the entire NCAA membership,” stated Director of Athletics Jeff Martinez.
Moreover, Walker was the creator of the Benevolent Bulldog Community Service Program in which he and a handful of other supporters annually give $100 to football student-athletes following their non-traditional season in May and charge them with the task of growing the seed money before they arrive back on campus in the fall. The funds are then donated to a charitable cause of the player’s choice, making an impact throughout the world and in the local community.
“If there was such a thing as a Most Valuable Faculty Award, Dr. Walker would have certainly won that many times over,” added Maynard. “His contribution to Bulldog football has been immense. He was always there to help, encourage, and to mentor our young men.”
In 2011, Walker retired as a member of the Communicative Disorders faculty after 32 years at the University of Redlands. He continues to enjoy his involvement with the Bulldogs, cheering on the teams and attending events, while staying active within the community.
The SCIAC created the Distinguished Service Award in 1985 to recognize a member of the faculty, administration, or coaching staff who has promoted college athletics and the ideals of the student-athlete. The award is given to an individual who has retired or is in his/her final year prior to retirement.