The Heisman Trophy presented to legendary Southern Methodist University running back Doak Walker, as well as SMU’s replica of the Doak Walker Award, will be on display at Austin College as part of the college’s annual athletics department Legends Weekend. The trophies will be on display in the lobby of the Wright Campus Center from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 14, and Friday, July 15. This display will be open to the general public for viewing on both days.
Walker, a three-time All-American at SMU and five-time All-Pro with the Detroit Lions, is a member of both the Pro Football and College Football Hall of Fames. The third overall pick in the 1950 NFL draft and the 1950 Rookie of the Year, Walker also has a connection to Austin College as his father, the late Ewell Walker, was a four-year letter-winner for the Kangaroo football team beginning in 1915 and is a member of the Austin College Athletics Hall of Honor. The elder Walker was also the former superintendent of the Dallas Independent School District.
Walker enjoyed an outstanding high school career in the Dallas area, as well, playing at Highland Park with teammate Bobby Layne, who would also go on to become a Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback and Walker’s teammate once again in Detroit. The elder Walker, when asked by a visitor in the 1960’s about a photo of Walker on the mantle of the family’s Highland Park home, famously said simply, “That’s my son, Doak. He played at SMU.” A man known for his understatement, he made no mention of his son’s brilliant pro career.
Both of Walker’s trophies will be in a display case in the WCC main lobby on Thursday and Friday in conjunction with Legends Weekend, which runs from Friday through Sunday and includes this year’s Athletics Hall of Honor inductions at the Legends Gala on Saturday evening. The 2011 inductees include the entire 1981 Kangaroo football team, which won the NAIA National Championship that season, along with former standout student-athletes Robert Van Schoick II, Gerald Blankenship, Steve Burket, Jack “Scooter” Nolen, Robert Campbell III, and Lindsay McFadden.
Also being honored this year are Danny Henderson, this year’s Kedric Couch Alumni Coach of the Year, and Jerry Bishop, who is being honored with the Coach Joe Spencer Award for Meritorious Service and Lifetime Achievement in Coaching.