ADRIAN, Mich.--The Adrian College Athletic Department, in conjunction with the Office of Alumni Relations, will induct the 2018 class of the Adrian Bulldogs Athletic Hall of Fame on Friday as part of Homecoming activities. The ceremonial dinner will be held at 6 p.m. in the Tobias Center of Ritchie Hall, preceded by the Walk of Fame (5:15 p.m.) from the Caine Center and reception (5:30 p.m.).
This year's honorees include Walter Chany Jr '69 (Cross Country/Track & Field), Lauree Dermyer '05 (Volleyball), Lindsey Eshelman '09 (Volleyball/Tennis), Jill Green Pedersen '91 (Tennis/Field Hockey), Vincent Harkins '97 (Soccer) and Michael Lewis II '07 (Football).
Today's spotlight feature is on Walter Chany Jr. ‘69, of Petersburg, who competed in cross country and track & field for the Bulldogs.
"I want to acknowledge the great education and athletic opportunities that Adrian College provided me," he said.
Walt was an important contributor during Adrian’s golden era in cross country, helping the Bulldogs to a 20-4 dual-meet record, the 1967 Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association title, and two runner-up finishes in 1965 and 1966. Adrian also placed third in 1968 with a 4-2 mark and 73 points in the championship meet. The team’s conference championship was its first in 21 years at the time and remains the program’s most recent.
Walt previously has been inducted into the school's Hall of Fame as a member of the 1967 cross country team on Oct. 18, 2002. The Bulldogs posted a 6-0 MIAA mark and defeated runner-up Calvin (5-1) by 11 points, 51-62, in the conference championship meet.
Stamping His Legacy on the Oval
But where Walt achieved his greatest collegiate athletic achievements was on the track. He earned All-MIAA First Team three times and made the all-conference second team in 1966.
He continued to make his mark in the sport as the MIAA champion in the 880-yard run in 1967 and 1968, setting AC and MIAA records of 1 minute and 54.6 seconds in ’68. Walt also set the school record in the 440-yard intermediate hurdles in 1969.
A biology and physical education graduate, Walt has two memories that stand out to him about his time as a Bulldog: He ran part of a cross country race on a broken leg and competing in another event after 18 inches of snow had to be plowed off a course. "They had to bring in a bulldozer and front-end loader to clear the course," Walt said about the surreal scene.
What He's Doing Now
After getting a master’s degree in elementary physical education and a specialist degree in computers, Walt would pursue a career in teaching. He is employed by the Bedford Public Schools teaching computers and science. He also coaches track, cross country and judo for BPS, and has given back to the community as a baseball and softball recreation coach in Whiteford.
He was voted the Bedford Junior High Teacher of the Year in 1970 and '82.
Walt and his wife, Linda, have two grown children, Breanne and Brett.
Stamping His Legacy on Future Generations of Student-Athletes
With his countless hours of teaching and coaching student-athletes, Walt was twice named the Monroe County Cross Country Coach of the Year in back-to-back seasons in 1995-96. He was chosen to the Bedford High School Fall of Fame in 2006.
What You May Not Know
Walt earned a black belt in judo in 1972, winning a state championship in the 139-pound class that year. He's also an accomplished barefoot water skier.
In its 49th year, the Hall was established in 1969 to recognize former athletes and coaches who have distinguished themselves in the field of intercollegiate athletics at Adrian College either by their performance on athletic teams during their undergraduate years, by their strong leadership in their profession, or their meritorious efforts on behalf of the athletic program at the College.
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