Walt Thorp - Administrator, Odessa



Walt Thorp has been in the educational field for more than 50 years in the state of Washington. This is a man whose heart was always in education. Walt was an administrator who saw the true value of the activities program as one of the best ways of developing successful people and citizens. He was consistently loyal to the students and schools and was an early supporter of promoting equity in programs for young men and women.

From 1953-69, Walt taught and coached at Wilson Creek Schools. He coached boys basketball for 16 years, boys and girls track for nine years, and baseball for seven years. After teaching, Walt then served as the athletic director for 16 years and principal for 14 years. He also started the Wilson Creek Junior High sports program.

In 1969-83, Walt was the Odessa High School Principal and Athletic Director. He was the first athletic director from WIAA District 7 on the Washington Secondary School Athletic Administrators Association (WSSAAA) Board (charter member). During Walt’s career, he was elected president of WSSAAA and was their representative at the national conference in Washington D.C., in 1972.

Walt was a member of the WIAA District 6 Board for nine years and then president for two years, Bi-County Administrator of the Year in 1983-84, Administrator of the Year for WIAA District 7 Activity Association in 1982-83, and was elected to the Washington State Athletic Directors Hall of Fame in 1991. A District 7 Executive Secretary for 24 years, Walt currently has been serving the Bi-County as recording secretary for 25 years. He also served as the assistant tournament manager at the B Basketball State Tournament from 1990-1995.

In 1996, Walt received the WIAA Meritorious Service Award for his service to the youth Washington. Also, he was a recipient of the WIAA Gareth Giles Memorial Award, in recognition of distinguished service to the youth of Washington.

The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association exists to assist member schools in operating student programs that foster achievement, respect, equity, enthusiasm and excellence in a safe and organized environment.