George Walker is a legend in the annals of Houston schoolboy athletics. Now his son is a pioneer in the history of HISD athletic administration.
George Walker Jr. is the new stadium director of the Joe Kelly Butler Athletic Complex located on South Main near Hillcroft.
Walker Jr. becomes the first African American stadium director of the iconic facility that has seen the likes of NFL Hall of Famer Michael Singletary, Vince Young and Chuck Knoblauch pass through its doors.
HISD athletic director Marmion Dambrino made the official announcement in a recent statement.
“George is an outstanding employee, He enjoys his work and enjoys watching the progress of our student-athletes,” Dambrino said. “He’s an asset to our department and will be an asset at Butler Sports Complex.”
Walker takes over following a three and a half year stint as assistant director under Rhonda Rogers at HISD’s Barnett Sports Complex.
“I’m honored and very humble to be even considered for such a prestigious position,” Walker said. “I’m excited about the opportunity.
“Being the first (African American) at this facility means I have to excel because I want others to follow,” Walker said. “I know that by trusting in God along with the support of my family and friends that I’ll be okay.”
Walker, 31, says his promotion becomes even more meaningful because Butler Stadium was the site of many of his own exploits as a student-athlete at Westbury High School, where he lettered in football (All-American), basketball and ran track.
Then he earned a football scholarship to the University of Texas and graduated in 2008.
“I’ve made my share of mistakes, so it’s overwhelming at times when I think about coming full circle,” Walker said. “It brings back the memories of becoming a student-athlete and having some success.
“Now being able to come back and share my experiences and hopefully help out some of these kids as they prepare to go on their own journeys,” Walker said.
Reaching out to the community in an effort to increase attendance at the games will be one of the first priorities for Walker in his new position at Butler. Sports at the facility range from football, volleyball, basketball, baseball, soccer, softball along with track and field.
“Some adults don’t realize that it makes a difference in the lives of our young people,” Walker said. “It means so much to our kids when they have support in the stands.”
“Getting that positive support right here at these games can drive them to make the right decisions when they come to forks in the road,” Walker said.
Another project that interests Walker is constructing a museum honoring the past accomplishments of former HISD standout athletes.
“We can prepare our kids for the future by educating them about our stars from the past,” he said.
George Walker Sr., his father, was recently inducted into the Prairie View Interscholastic League Coaches Association Hall of Fame for his athletic achievements. His mother Sandra Walker coached for more than 30 years at Houston’s Wheatley High School.
“My parents, my grandparents and good people like the Square family helped get me to this point,” Walker said. “I just want to thank Rhonda Rogers for grooming me and Ms. Dambrino for having confidence in me.”
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