|Tonia Walker is the new Winston-Salem State AD. (Photo courtesy of WSSU)|
After a seemingly endless array of changes over the past six months, Winston-Salem State finally made news about who is staying in its athletics department. Tonia Walker, a longtime member of the WSSU athletic staff, was officially named athletic director on Wednesday.
Walker has served as interim director since Bill Hayes stepped down in February.
“Tonia has done an outstanding job in every role she has been given within the WSSU athletics program and has a wealth of knowledge of intercollegiate athletics beyond our campus,” said Chancellor Donald J. Reaves. “Having Tonia as the athletic director brings strong leadership to the program and provides stability for our players, coaches and staff. Tonia has certainly earned this opportunity and I am absolutely delighted that she is moving into this position on a permanent basis.”
Walker has been a fixture in the WSSU athletic department since 2000. She’s served in several capacities, including a couple of stints as interim AD both before and after Hayes’ tenure.
One area where Walker has already paid dividends is in the area of alumni relations. She reached out to Delaware’s Monte Ross, and St. Louis Ram defensive end William Hayes, both of whom have returned the favor by helping the athletic department through time and money.
Those small gestures make a big difference, especially in a program where relationships have been strained during the past. Walker may be a first-time AD, but she’s no rookie. She’ll provide experience and stability, something that the program will need after all the changes the last few months have brought.
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The second annual Deacon Jones Trophy will be awarded in Feb. 2018.