Joe Walton (2013) - NEC Hall of Fame - Northeast Conference Skip To Main Content

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Joe Walton

  • Class
  • Induction
    2013
  • Sport(s)
    Coach
Joe Walton, Robert Morris University
Head Football Coach • 1994-2013


An institution at Robert Morris and a legend in the Northeast Conference, Walton recently retired following a 47-year football coaching career in the college and professional ranks.

The only head coach in Robert Morris history, Walton was hired in 1993 to build the program from scratch.  After posting 13 wins as an independent his first two years at the helm, Walton led the Colonials into NEC football in 1996 by winning the first of five consecutive conference championships.  During the five-year run, Robert Morris posted a 39-13 overall record and 26-2 mark in league play, and recorded the only undefeated season in school history with a 10-0 mark in the 2000 campaign.  The Colonials won back-to-back ECAC Bowls in 1996 and 1997, and were crowned NCAA I-AA non-scholarship national champions in both 1999 and 2000.

Under Walton, the Colonials would go on to win a sixth NEC title in 2010 and earn the first-ever FCS playoff bid for the conference.

The winningest coach in NEC history, Walton retired with 114 career victories and a 74-47 record against conference opponents during his 20-year run.  He was recognized four times as NEC Coach of the Year (1996, 1997, 1999 and 2010), and was an Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year candidate in 2010.

Three of his players at Robert Morris reached the NFL.  Running back Tim Hall played two years for the Oakland Raiders in 1996-97 and defensive back Robb Butler played with the San Diego Chargers in 2004.  Offensive lineman Hank Fraley, a member of the NEC’s first Hall of Fame induction class in 2010, spent 10 years in the NFL from 2000-10 with the Philadelphia Eagles, Cleveland Browns and St. Louis Rams.

In 2005, Robert Morris named its new football stadium in his honor and he was inducted into the RMU Athletic Hall of Fame this past November.

Prior to his arrival at Robert Morris, Walton served as head coach of the New York Jets from 1983-89, and was the offensive coordinator for the Washington Redskins (1978-80), Jets (1981-82) and Pittsburgh Steelers (1990-91).  He began his NFL coaching career as a scout for the New York Giants (1967-68), then transitioned to wide receivers coach (1969-73) before moving on to the Redskins as running backs coach (1974-77).

Walton is one of a select few coaches to win 50 games as both an NFL and collegiate head coach.

The Beaver Falls, PA native enjoyed a seven-year NFL career with the Redskins and Giants and was a two-time All-American at Pittsburgh.

“Coach Walton has meant a great deal to Robert Morris University, both to the athletic program and the University as a whole,” said Craig Coleman, Robert Morris Director of Athletics.  “As the only head coach in our 20-year football history, he has over

seen the development of our program from its inception to the current day.  With a number of NEC Championships, numerous athletes with individual awards for both athletics and academics, and several players making it to the NFL, Coach Walton will leave behind a legacy that is hard to match.  Most importantly, he has been a great leader, mentor, and terrific role model for hundreds of young men who have come through our program.  This honor is certainly well-deserved!”

“It is certainly a well-deserved honor for him,” said Jon Banaszak, a former assistant under Walton and now the head coach at RMU.  “He’s a coach who won six Northeast Conference football championships, more than any other coach.  For me to be the second head football coach at Robert Morris University and to follow in the big shoes that Coach Walton left behind is very important to me.”

“I congratulate Joe on this well-deserved honor and salute him for the enormous impact that he had on Northeast Conference football,” said Wagner head coach Walt Hameline, who competed against Walton during his entire run at RMU.  “Wagner and Robert Morris had many great battles through the years.  Facing a Joe Walton-coached team always meant you had to be on top of your game and I will miss competing against his teams.”