May 14, 2012

Walters retiring from Grove City

GROVE CITY, Pa. – Joe Walters, associate athletic director and head tennis coach at Grove City College, will be retiring at the end of the 2011-12 academic year after 40 years of dedicated service to the College and its athletic department.

Walters is finishing up his 40th season as Grove City’s head men’s tennis coach and his sixth overall season as head women’s tennis coach. He has served as associate athletic director and compliance coordinator since 1996 and currently holds the rank of professor of physical education.

Walters also worked as an assistant football coach from 1972 to 1995 and directed intramurals at Grove City for over 30 years.

“It is always hard to lose someone like Joe, who has made so many positive contributions to both the College and the Department,” Dr. Don Lyle, Chairman of the Department of Physical Education and Athletic Director, said. “I want to wish him all the very best in his retirement.”

Walters took over as head men’s tennis coach during the 1972-73 academic year and guided the Wolverines to a 358-137 record in 40 seasons. Grove City has won 22 consecutive Presidents’ Athletic Conference titles and 23 overall league championships in men’s tennis.

The conference has honored Walters as its Coach of the Year in each of the last seven seasons.

In 2011, he led the men’s tennis team to its first NCAA Division III Championship Tournament appearance. Grove City advanced to the regional semifinals after opening with a 5-3 win over Elizabethtown.

This year, the Wolverines again reached the regional semifinals of the NCAA Tournament. Grove City defeated Penn State Harrisburg in the opening round before falling to No. 12 Middlebury in the regional semifinals.

Walters served as interim head women’s tennis coach in 2004 and led the team to an 11-1 record and a conference title. He became women’s tennis coach permanently in 2008 and has coached the team to a 53-20 record since.

The Wolverines won PAC titles in each of those four seasons and qualified for four straight NCAA Tournaments. Walters earned the conference’s Coach of the Year award in 2010 and 2011 for women’s tennis.

Overall, he has accumulated 422 overall coaching victories in 46 combined seasons. Walters-coached teams have posted winning records in 42 of those 46 years.

A native of Lewistown, Pa., came to Grove City College in 1972 as an instructor of physical education. He earned promotion to associate professor in 1978. In 2009, the College promoted him to full professor.

Walters graduated from Slippery Rock State College in 1968 with a bachelor's degree in physical education and recreation. As a senior defensive lineman and punter for Slippery Rock's football team, he earned Team MVP.

He also earned his master's of education degree in 1972 at Slippery Rock. In September 2007, Slippery Rock inducted him into its Athletic Hall of Fame for his distinguished career in athletics.

A veteran of the United States Army Honor Guard, Walters lives in Grove City with his wife, Diana. They have two adult children and two grandchildren.

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