At the 2013 Texas Swimming and Diving Hall of Fame Invitational hosted by the University of Texas, four will be inducted into the Texas Swimming and Diving Hall of Fame, and one more will receive a lifetime achievement award.
The Hall of Fame, housed at the Jamail Swim Center on the University of Texas campus, but designed to represent the entire campus, will add new members Chuck Baldwin, Christine Loock, John Vogel, and Neil Walker. Bill Walker (no relation) will also receive a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Those in the Hall of Fame will be awarded on the final day, Saturday December 7th, just before the beginning of the finals session at one of the biggest mid-season college invitationals.
For more, including full bios, see the Texas Swimming and Diving Hall of Fame Website. Summaries of bios are below.
The 2013 inductees:
- Chuck Baldwin – former National High School Record holder; bronze star airman during the Vietnam War; 8-time Masters World Record breaker; member of National Senior Games Hall of Fame
- Christine Loock – Undefeated in Texas age group and high school diving competition; dove at SMU. A pioneer in women’s athletics, in 1975 she became the first female to earn a varsity letter in the Southwest Conference when she placed 3rd on the 3-meter while competing against men. Also a five-time US National Champion, and FINA’s Female Diver of the Year in 1975.
- John Vogel – Former Memorial High School (Houston) swimmer where his teams won four-straight State Championship. Swam collegiately at Tennessee. Highlight of coaching career is 18 years at the Woodlands Swim Team, and he is also the owner of the Swim Shops of the Southwest.
- Neil Walker – A Wisconsin native, but is most frequently associated with Texas where he swam in college. 25-time NCAA All-American (out of a possible 28 awards), two-time NCAA Champion, six-time Big 12 Champion, former NCAA Record holder in the 50 free and 100 back. His 100 back of 44.92 from 1997 was the NCAA, American, and U.S. Open Record as the fastest 100 yard back swim ever. Even with the legendary Aaron Peirsol rolling through Austin since, Walker still holds the UT Record in that event. Three-time U.S. National Team Captain (2005. 2006, 2007). Head coach of the RACE Swim Team near Dallas.
- Bill Walker – Walker could be a candidate for the Mount Rushmore of Texas swimming. Having held several lead administrative roles in the state, he was twice the Girls Coach of the Year and as an aquatics coordinator oversaw 9 Texas High School State Championships. Has coached in San Antonio and in the deep south of Texas (McAllen High School), and the Northeast ISD Aquatic Center in San Antonio is named after him.