Charles R. Walter
Water dedicated more than 30 years of his life to Northwestern University as athlete, coach and administrator. The Kokomo, Ind., native starred in high school basketball and track and set records at Northwestern in the same sports.
A three-year letterwinner in basketball, Walter was one of the great forwards in Northwestern's history and a leading conference scorer. As a sophomore in 1928, he placed second in the conference scoring race. He was team captain his senior year.
Walter was a three-time winner of the conference championship's 440-yard event in track; he won the NCAA title in the same event in 1929 and placed second and third in other years. Known as the greatest quarter-miler in Northwestern's history, he was also selected team captain as a senior.
Other campus interests included membership in the Deru honorary society, Sigma Nu fraternity, Purple Key and Homecoming Committee. After graduation in 1930, Walter joined Northwestern's athletic department staff. During World War II he served as physical instructor and head coach of military track at the Navy preflight school and was discharged as a naval lieutenant.
During his 29-year career at Northwestern, he was assistant coach to famed track coach Frank Hill. One of Walter's greatest thrills was coaching NU track star Bill Porter for the 1947 pre-Olympic trials. Walter assumed the head coach position in 1952 after Coach Hill's retirement.
For 22 years, Walter was also director of intramural sports, building the program from 5 to 26 sports. In addition, he was freshman basketball coach.
In 1959, Walter, seeing the opportunity to build a new program, assumed the head coach position at the University of Wisconsin. The school won eight Big Ten championships during his tenure there. He retired from the University of Wisconsin in 1969.