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Former Gwinnett football coach dies after car accident

Dick Walker

Dick Walker

Dick Walker's time at Meadowcreek was short, but the veteran coach made quite the impact.

Walker came to the Mustangs' struggling football program with two Super Bowl rings and a positive attitude, infusing more energy than some thought possible from a man pushing 70. That's the way those who worked with Walker, who died this week from injuries suffered in a car accident, will remember him in this area.

"Coach Walker was a great man and was so knowledgeable about football," said Ken Aldridge, Walker's former Meadowcreek assistant and now a coach at East Jackson. "He never made a big deal about the fact that he had two Super Bowl rings or that he coached with Woody Hayes. I loved listening to the stories that he told the coaches about his time at Ohio State and the NFL.

"My wife and I had lunch with him this past October in Las Vegas and he was still the same man that I knew at Meadowcreek. He wanted to know about family and wanted to talk football. I will really miss him."

Walker was 80 when he died and in great shape, according to Aldridge. The veteran coach, who lived in Las Vegas near his son, died Tuesday from complications after a Jan. 6 traffic accident. According to the Columbus Dispatch, he suffered a broken neck when his car was hit by another car that drove through a red light at an intersection.

Aldridge said Walker stayed active coaching football in Nevada until he retired two years ago. Though he had coached at the highest levels, he still enjoyed working with young players, which is what drew him to Meadowcreek in 1999.

He inherited an 0-10 team and his first Mustang team also went 0-10. But his last two Meadowcreek teams each won three games, quite an accomplishment since no Mustang team has won more than a single game since that 2001 season, Walker's last at the school.

Walker's resume was very impressive before he arrived at Meadowcreek. He won seven Big Ten titles under Hayes and then coached the Steelers' defensive backs for Super Bowl-winning teams in 1978 and 1979. His coaching career also included a stint in the Canadian Football League.

Walker's family plans a memorial service in his native Ohio, but details have not been announced.