WESTFIELD TWP. — Craig Walkup’s passion for the Cloverleaf community was recognized when the Ohio Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association named him as one of its athletic administrators of the year.
The 55-year old was given the award Monday at the Columbus Hilton.
“To me, it means that my peers and other people within the business of high school athletics see that we’re trying to do things at Cloverleaf,” Walkup said. “We’re trying to do things the right way and run a clean program that exemplifies the values of interscholastic athletics.”
Walkup puts in 15-hour days during the school year and works 11 months out of the year to make sure the 22 varsity programs and its parts at the junior varsity, freshman and middle school levels run like a top.
The Colts have won 20 league titles during his 13-year tenure. Cloverleaf counted 28 in 46 prior years, albeit against tougher competition in the Pioneer Conference and Suburban League.
“I think he’s extremely deserving,” Colts football coach Justin Vorhies said. “You look at what he’s done with our football facilities since he has taken over. That was one of the big factors of coming back — the fieldhouse we have and knowing we were getting a new stadium with FieldTurf. Everything has been given to me to be successful.
“He’s great to work with. If I ever have a question or concern, I bring it up to him. As a coach, you want an athletic director who is going to have your back, come to you and not blame you when problems arise and have some understanding of what’s going on.”
Under Walkup’s watch, the Colts also have a new softball field and wrestling room. He’s also been the driving force behind renovations to the baseball field and gymnasium.
“Craig’s been great with upgrading our facilities over the last 10-plus years,” girls basketball and softball coach John Carmigiano said. “He’s been instrumental in giving us softball and baseball fields that we can be proud of. I know he’s worked hard to make sure that the football stadium continues to improve for the fans and community. When it comes to the facilities, he definitely has taken care of Cloverleaf and wants the community and kids to feel proud of where they compete.”
A member of the executive board for the Northeast OIAA, Walkup also sits on the West Virginia University College of Physical Activity and Sports Sciences Committee.
“Craig has done it for so long and is someone I look up to,” Medina athletic director Todd Hodkey said. “He’s a professional but also is a friend. He’s so deserving of the award. The award is a description of who Craig is.”
Walkup is quick to point out the relationships he has with all the coaches, as well as the hard work everyone puts in, especially athletic assistant Joanne Ashton.
“Cloverleaf is a great place to raise a family,” he said. “My wife and I have lived in this school district a long time. Both of our children graduated from Cloverleaf. Our best friends live here. Cloverleaf has some of the best people in America.”
Contact Brad Bournival at firstname.lastname@example.org.