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RMU Athletic Hall of Fame to induct Walton

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Football head coach to be inducted at inaugural RMU Athletic Hall of Fame dinner

Moon Township, PA – The 23rd annual class of inductees into the Robert Morris University Athletic Hall of Fame features just one individual, as the latest to garner the honor as the Class of 2013 is head football coach Joe Walton.

The only head coach the program has ever known, the 2013 campaign will be Walton’s 20th on the sidelines at RMU. At the conclusion of the season, Walton will step down as head coach and serve as special assistant to the athletic director at Robert Morris.

In 19 years guiding the Colonials, Walton has compiled an overall record of 109-86-1 (.559), including a mark of 70-44 (.614) in the Northeast Conference. Included in that 17-year stretch against league foes are six NEC regular-season championships (1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2010).

The one constant associated with the program on the eve of RMU’s 20th anniversary season in 2013, Walton was named the first head coach July 27, 1993. He started the program from scratch, completing everything from hiring assistants to purchasing equipment to recruiting student-athletes for the program’s inaugural season in 1994. His fingerprints are all over the program, and to prove that, Robert Morris has played its home games since 2005 in a stadium that bears his name.

Under Walton’s tutelage, the Colonials have claimed outright NEC regular-season titles three times (1997, 1999, 2000) while sharing three others (1996, 1998, 2010). Walton led RMU to back-to-back ECAC Bowl victories in 1996 and 1997, and in 1999 and 2000 he guided Robert Morris to a pair of NCAA I-AA mid-major national crowns according to Don Hansen’s National Weekly Football Gazette.

In 2010, Walton secured his legacy by engineering the Colonials on an eight-game winning streak for a share of the NEC regular-season title and the NEC’s inaugural bid in the NCAA FCS Playoffs. In the process he picked up his 100th career victory in the collegiate ranks.

Over the last 20 years, Walton has also helped a fledgling program send a pair of its brightest stars to the National Football League (NFL). Inaugural running back Tim Hall (1994-95) was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the sixth round (183rd player overall) of the 1996 NFL Draft, while former offensive lineman Hank Fraley (1996-99) spent 10 years in the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles, the Cleveland Browns and the St. Louis Rams.

Also to see time in NFL camps from Robert Morris under Walton include former wide receiver DeLonte Perkins (Green Bay Packers), former quarterback Tim Levcik (Miami Dolphins, Pittsburgh Steelers) and former defensive back Robb Butler (San Diego Chargers, Baltimore Ravens, Kansas City Chiefs).

Walton becomes just the second inductee ever to be active at Robert Morris at the time of enshrinement, joining 2012 RMU Athletic Hall of Fame honoree Chris Shovlin, RMU’s radio play-by-play announcer for football and men’s basketball who enters his 27th season behind the microphone in 2013-14.

Walton will be inducted Friday, Nov. 15, 2013, with the inaugural RMU Athletic Hall of Fame Dinner, which will take place at the Marriott Pittsburgh Airport. Cocktails will be served at 6:00 p.m., followed by dinner at 7:00 p.m., and the emcee of the event will be former Washington Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann. For more information regarding the inaugural RMU Athletic Hall of Fame Dinner, please visit www.rmu.edu/hof.

The RMU Athletic Hall of Fame was established in 1991 to honor those who have made an outstanding contribution to Robert Morris University athletics. Nominations are solicited and individuals selected by the RMU Athletic Hall of Fame committee.

The induction of Walton into the RMU Athletic Hall of Fame is one of a number of promotions and activities on the slate as Robert Morris celebrates its 20th anniversary season in 2013. All home games will feature program covers from each era of RMU football, a second 10-year team will be selected and giveaways highlight select games.

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