Bandit coach George Walker is going to be inducted into the Bloomington Sports Hall of Fame on October 11, 2012. In addition to putting up with the Bandit roster for 40ish games each summer, George is the JV coach of the Bloomington Kennedy High School baseball team and also helps coach Valley View Middle School football. Walker's volunteer work with youth and adult (loosely used here for Bandit guys) athletics is quite an accomplishment and something that should inspire others to get out and volunteer around the state of Minnesota.
It's been an absolute honor to have such a good person associated with the Bloomington Bandits. If not for George's countless hours and bottomless wallet, the Bandits might not still exist today. Coach Walker not only puts up with our collection of guys, but he does the scheduling, collects the money, puts together a budget, writes out lineups, puts up with criticism and doesn't always get the thanks that he truly deserves. Walker has tremendous support from his family as well, his wife Diane puts up with a demanding schedule during our summer months full of baseball games. Not only does she support him in his commitment with the Bandits, but George also spends spring and early summer running from the High School baseball games straight to Bandit games and then sometimes out to play some summer puck at Bloomington Ice Gardens. Diane is a regular at Bandit games throughout the summer. Diane's thoughts on the induction, "84 hours of labor, 3 sons, 868,000 pairs of stinky socks washed, anniversaries celebrated at Bloomington Ice Garden's, and birthdays at the ballfield, and WHO gets in a Hall of Fame???? Me? no, no ... not me ... George is to be inducted into the Bloomington Sports Hall of Fame for all his years of coaching and stuff .... Hmmmmph ya, ya .. he deserves it ... Love you Georgie."
George is joined on the Bandits roster by two of his three sons, Ryan and Dusty. His third son, Nolan (the youngest of the Walker clan) chose a different life path and enlisted in the National Guard. Ryan, the eldest of the sons, has been a staple of the Bandit's since the team started in 2006. Ryan has been a top offensive performer consistently, while making three Riverview All Star teams. When asked about what George's induction meant to him Ryan responded with, "Well, I pretty much owe all of my life to my dad. Obviously he made me. But more than physically being responsible for my life, my dad has groomed me into the stud that I am today. I've modeled my abs after him and look at how well that has turned out. But in all honesty, it's a great accomplishment for him and I couldn't be more proud of him. I strive to be George Walker 2.0 when I'm all grow'd up."
Dusty is a different animal all together. With a love for Swedish Fish that borderlines on an unhealthy obsession, Dusty has grown into his role on the Bandits with ease. Quick quips and keeping things light in the dugout and clubhouse is what this Bandit is all about, oh and trying to be Sean Ohl (but that's a different story). Dusty went to Augsburg and graduated with a four year degree making George the happiest father this side of the Mississippi. Dusty and George have had their fair share of spats in the dugout, but what always remains is their good natured humor. Dusty had this to say about George's induction, "He still can't beat me at sports activities, but what he can beat me at is Hall of Fame inductions. I have a few years before I can overtake the club when he steps down, but I'm ready. I'm always waiting in the wings to run this ball club. I take notes because there isn't anybody better to learn from. My dad has always been instrumental in my sports life and I am grateful for that. It's been a lot of fun having my dad around at all my things growing up and it's a lot of fun now. I look forward to continuing to spend time at the ball field with him for the next bunch of years."
George has meant everything to the Bandits throughout the years and as a club we couldn't be luckier to have such a great guy around. He dedicates his time and all of our guys genuinely like spending time with George. Without him around it would be very difficult to keep the team running as smoothly as it does now, and we might not still be a club today if not for George. We are proud to have him and we are proud that he has our backs and we will always have his back. Congratulations, George. You deserve this and we are extremely happy for you. As Scott Davis said, "He'll give Diane most of the credit at the induction ceremony ... if he's smart."
For more information: http://current.mnsun.com/2012/09/bloomington-sports-hall-of-fame-honorees-are-announced/