CIRCLEVILLE, OH - Damon Baker and Mike Walters became the 11th and 12th inductees into the OCU Athletic Hall of Fame on Saturday afternoon, during a special ceremony attended by OCU alumni, family, coaches, and former teammates.
"God planted the thought in my mind to use athletics as a ministry in 1968 during my freshman year as a student here. It came to mind while playing football alongside John Maxwell at Atwater Elementary School one Saturday," stated Mike Walters. "Nearly ten years later, those dreams became a reality on this campus with the creation of an athletic department and it is amazing to see where it as grown to today."
Damon Baker thanked his family and teammates. "I want to thank my coaches and teammates who drove several hours to come share this special day with me. I want my two boys to know that it wasn't my talent or skill that helped me be successful. I became successful because I learned the value of hard work. Ultimately, hard work is the key to reaching your goals. I hope one day when I am long gone, my two sons will walk by that Hall of Fame Wall and see my plaque and proudly say, "that is my dad up there."
Tom Amlin, who coached Damon Baker, spoke of the continued relationship with his former player. "I am proud of Damon and the man he has become and he is well deserving of this honor. I think back to when he finally settled business with Christ back in college and how that has impacted the direction of his life to this point. Two years ago he came and visited my wife and I at her nursing home. It really meant a lot to me personally and it speaks to his character."
Mike Holbrook shared reflection on the early days of OCU athletics with Mike Walters. "We had a saying back then that we were #2. Many people didn't understand it until we told them that Jesus Christ is #1. It wasn't just a saying for us but it was really how we saw our priorities. Mike Walters was really the one we all looked to. When it came to our players and our coaching staff, Mike Walters was truly the teacher and we were all students who looked up to him and learned from him and his example."
All attending Hall of Fame members were presented with commemorative OCU Hall of Fame lapel pins during the presentation. Prior to the Hall of Fame Induction, a silent auction was held to support OCU athletics.