Peahead Walker

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Peahead Walker
Sport(s) Football, basketball, baseball
Biographical details
Born (1899-02-17)February 17, 1899
Birmingham, Alabama
Died July 16, 1970(1970-07-16) (aged 71)
Charlotte, North Carolina
Playing career
1921 Wilson Bugs
1923 Wilson Bugs
1924 Norfolk Tars
1924 Rochester Tribe
1925 Norfolk Tars
1927 Wilson Bugs
1928–1929 York White Roses
1930 Bloomington Cubs
1930 Decatur Commodores
1931 Winston-Salem Twins
1932 Wilmington Pirates
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1926 Atlantic Christian
1927–1936 Elon
1937–1950 Wake Forest
1951 Yale (assistant)
1952–1959 Montreal Alouettes
1927–1937 Elon
1928–1937 Elon
1937–1939 Snow Hill Billies
Head coaching record
Overall 127–93–10 (college football)
124–84 (college basketball)
124–61 (college baseball)
59–48–1 (CFL)
Bowls 1–1
Accomplishments and honors
4 North State (1933–1936)

Douglas Clyde "Peahead" Walker (February 17, 1899 – July 16, 1970) was an American football and baseball player, and coach of American football, Canadian football, basketball, and baseball. Walker served as the head football coach at Atlantic Christian College—now Barton College—in 1926, at Elon University from 1927 to 1936, and at Wake Forest University from 1937 to 1950, compiling a career college football record of 127–93–10. At Elon, Walker was also the head basketball coach (1927–1937) and the head baseball coach (1928–1937). In 1952 Walker moved to the Canadian Football League (CFL) to become the head coach of the Montreal Alouettes. He remained with the team until 1959, tallying a mark of 59–48–1 in eight seasons. Walker also played minor league baseball with a number of clubs between 1921 and 1932. He managed the Snow Hill Billies of the Coastal Plain League from 1937 to 1939.

Early life[edit]

Walker was born on February 17, 1899 in Birmingham, Alabama.[1] He graduated from Howard College in Birmingham in 1922, and later became the head football coach at an Alabama high school from 1922 through 1925.


Walker played minor league baseball in parts of eleven seasons spanning 1921 to 1932. Primarily a shortstop, he also played at second base and third base. He posted a career .300 batting average and 30 home runs in 1078 games. Notably, he batted over .320 four times, with a career-high of .338 in 1928 with the York White Roses.[1]

From 1937 to 1939 he managed the Snow Hill Billies of the Class D Coastal Plain League, leading them to the playoffs twice and to one league championship.[1]


Walker's coaching career began in 1926 at Atlantic Christian College, today known as Barton College, in Wilson, North Carolina, where he also played professional baseball for the Wilson Bugs of the Virginia League. In his one year as head football coach, Walker was 6–1–1 and his "Little Christians" (later, "Bulldogs") were scored upon only once. He also had success with the Atlantic Christian basketball and baseball teams.

Next, in 1927, Walker accepted the position of head coach of all three major teams at Elon College (now Elon University) near Burlington, North Carolina. He coached at Elon for ten seasons, earning a 44–41–4 record and winning four North State Conference championships.[2]

Walker coached at Wake Forest University from 1937 to 1950. He compiled a record of 77–51–6 during his 14 years at the school and led the Deacons to two bowl games, a win over South Carolina in the inaugural Gator Bowl in 1946[3] and a 20–7 loss to Baylor in the 1949 Dixie Bowl. He is tied with Jim Grobe as the program's winningest head coach.

After quitting Wake Forest, Walker sought a higher paying job and joined longtime friend and former assistant Herman Hickman at Yale University. After one year at Yale, he replaced the retiring Lew Hayman as the second head coach of the Canadian Football League's Montreal Alouettes. There he had a 59–48–1 record in eight seasons and won four division titles before retiring after 1959 season. After his retirement he became a scout for the New York Giants. He was elected into the Wake Forest Athletics Hall of Fame after his death in 1970.[4]

Later life and death[edit]

One of Walker's longtime friends was Arnold Palmer, who Walker tried to recruit to his football team while Palmer was at Wake Forest.

Walker died of a stroke on July 16, 1970 in Charlotte, North Carolina, at the age of 71.[1][5]

Head coaching record[edit]

College football[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs AP#
Atlantic Christian Bulldogs (Independent) (1926)
1926 Atlantic Christian 6–1–1
Atlantic Christian: 6–1–1
Elon Fightin' Christians (Independent) (1927–1931)
1927 Elon 3–4–1
1928 Elon 2–7
1929 Elon 5–3
1930 Elon 6–3
1931 Elon 3–5
Elon Fightin' Christians (North State Conference) (1932–1936)
1932 Elon 2–6
1933 Elon 5–3–1 1st
1934 Elon 6–2–1 T–1st
1935 Elon 6–3 1st
1936 Elon 6–5 1st
Elon: 44–41–3
Wake Forest Demon Deacons (Southern Conference) (1937–1950)
1937 Wake Forest 3–6 1–4 T–13th
1938 Wake Forest 4–5–1 3–4–1 9th
1939 Wake Forest 7–3 3–3 T–7th
1940 Wake Forest 7–3 4–2 3rd
1941 Wake Forest 5–5–1 4–2–1 7th
1942 Wake Forest 6–2–1 6–1–1 3rd
1943 Wake Forest 4–5 3–2 4th
1944 Wake Forest 8–1 6–1 2nd
1945 Wake Forest 5–3–1 4–1–1 2nd W Gator 19
1946 Wake Forest 6–3 2–3 T–11th
1947 Wake Forest 6–4 3–4 10th
1948 Wake Forest 6–4 5–2 5th L Dixie 20
1949 Wake Forest 4–6 3–3 T–9th
1950 Wake Forest 6–1–2 6–1–1 4th
Wake Forest: 77–51–6 53–33–5
Total: 127–93–10
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title


  1. ^ a b c d "Douglas Walker". Retrieved 19 July 2012. 
  2. ^ "Douglas Clyde "Pea Head" Walker Records by Year". Retrieved 2008-01-08. 
  3. ^ "Gator Bowl Hall of Fame Class of 2005". Gator Bowl Association. 2005-12-30. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2008-01-08. 
  4. ^ "Athletics Hall of Fame". Traditions. Wake Forest Athletics. Retrieved 2008-01-08. 
  5. ^ "Stroke Claims Walker". TimesDaily. Associated Press. July 17, 1970. Retrieved December 24, 2013. 

External links[edit]