Bob Gillespie



Remembering LeRoy Walker: Benedict College hosts fund-raising tournament

Posted 10/15/2013 11:24:00 AM

Though he became a national figure in the U.S. Olympics movement, and oversaw the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Dr. LeRoy Walker never forgot his ties to South Carolina and to his alma mater, Benedict College in Columbia.

The memory of Walker, who died April 23, 2012, will be honored on Friday, Oct. 18, when Benedict’s athletics department stages the 19th annual LeRoy Walker Memorial Tournament. Before his death, Walker made regular appearances at the tournament, which will be played at The Golf Club of South Carolina at Crickentree, 1084 Langford Road in Blythewood.

The event begins with a 9 a.m. shotgun start. Entry fees are $100 per player or $350 per foursome. Appearing at the tournament will be Pete McDaniel, former senior writer for Golf Digest and author of “Uneven Lies,” a history of black golfers’ early struggles to play on the PGA Tour, as well as co-author (with the late Earl Woods) of “Training a Tiger” and with Tiger Woods on his instruction book, “How I Play Golf.”

Walker, a member of Benedict’s Class of 1940, played football and basketball for the Tigers, earning a spot in the school’s athletic hall of fame and having his No. 11 football jersey retired. He led BC to a conference football championship as a junior and was named to the Black All-America team by the Pittsburgh Courier newspaper.

He also became a national-class sprinter, and later coached track at North Carolina Central University, where he produced 111 All-Americans, 40 national champions and 12 Olympians. In 1976, Walker was the first African-American to coach a U.S. Olympic team.

For information, call Benedict golf coach Craig Bowen at (803) 705-4309. To register, call (803) 705-4501.