|Name Wayne Walker|
Education University of Idaho
|High school: Boise (ID)|
Weight 102 kg
Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Role Football player
|Date of birth: (1936-09-30) September 30, 1936 (age 79)|
NFL draft: 1958 / Round: 4 / Pick: 45
Place of birth: Boise, Idaho, U.S.
Positions Linebacker, Placekicker
Kpix bidding farewell to sportscaster wayne walker may 26 1994
Wayne Harrison Walker (September 30, 1936 – May 19, 2017) was an American professional football player and sports broadcaster. He played fifteen seasons with the Detroit Lions of the National Football League, as a linebacker and placekicker. Walker played in 200 regular season games, the second most for a defensive player at the time. He played in three Pro Bowls and was thrice selected as a first-team All-NFL player. After the 1972 season, he retired as a player and was a sports broadcaster for CBS and the sports director for KPIX-TV in San Francisco from 1974 to 1994. Walker was a weekend sportscaster during the off-season during his later years as a Detroit Lion.
- Kpix bidding farewell to sportscaster wayne walker may 26 1994
- Beloved kpix sports anchor wayne walker remembered
- Early years
- College football
- Professional football
- Broadcasting career
- Later years
Beloved kpix sports anchor wayne walker remembered
Born and raised in Boise, Idaho, Walker graduated from Boise High School in 1954. As a teen, he played American Legion baseball against hall of famer Harmon Killebrew of Payette; Walker passed on an offer to play minor league baseball to attend college.
Walker played college football at the University of Idaho in Moscow, then a member of the Pacific Coast Conference, as a center and middle linebacker for the Vandals under head coach Skip Stahley. Walker's teammate (and road roommate) at Idaho was Jerry Kramer. Both Walker and Kramer went on to play in the NFL, and both had their numbers retired at Idaho.
As a senior in 1957, Walker was a team captain and was selected by the United Press as a second-team center on the All-Pacific Coast team. In the East-West Shrine Game at San Francisco in late December, he played on both sides of the ball and had five tackles, three assists, two interceptions, and blocked a kick; he was voted the outstanding defensive player of the game. He also played in the College All-Star Game in mid-August 1958, helping the pro rookies defeat the Detroit Lions, his new team, 35–19.
Walker was selected by the Detroit Lions in the fourth round of the 1958 NFL draft, 45th overall, in December 1957, weeks before Detroit won the NFL title, their third of the decade. He played for the Lions for 15 years from 1958 to 1972. Walker appeared in 200 games for the Lions, a franchise record that was later broken by placekicker Jason Hanson. He also scored 345 points, which ranked third in Lions history at the time of his retirement (currently ninth). As a placekicker, Walker converted 53 of 131 field goal attempts for a 40.5% success rate, the lowest field goal percentage in NFL history. On extra points, he converted 172 of 175 attempts for a 98.3% success rate.
After his retirement from the NFL, Walker was the sports director for KPIX-TV, the CBS affiliate in San Francisco for twenty years, from 1974 to 1994, where he succeeded Barry Tompkins. He was also a sports commentator for the San Francisco 49ers' radio broadcasts for over twenty years and a commentator on Oakland Athletics baseball broadcasts from 1976 to 1980 and 1985; he teamed up with fellow southern Idahoan Harmon Killebrew in 1979, but the struggling A's lost 108 games. Walker was also a color commentator on regional NFL games for several years on CBS, working many games with Tom Brookshier, who moved from color commentary to play-by-play beginning in 1981.
Walker retired from broadcasting in 1999 and he and his wife Sylvia resided in the Boise area since 1994. In 1994, he began hosting Incredible Idaho, a half-hour outdoor show on Boise's NBC affiliate, KTVB-TV.
Diagnosed with throat cancer in June 2007, Walker lost 60 pounds (27 kg) after chemotherapy and radiation treatment. As of 2009 he was healthy again and had regained most of the lost weight. In October 2015, Walker announced that he was suffering from Parkinson's disease, possibly as a result of the many concussions he suffered during his playing days. He died on May 19, 2017, from complications from Parkinson's disease.
In December 1999, Walker was ninth on the Sports Illustrated list of greatest sports figures from Idaho.