Contact: Wendel Sloan at 505.562.2253
Reporter: Shelley Gilmore
PORTALES — Playing noon-time basketballand weekend golf is probably enough challenge for most people, but notTy Walker, director of Counseling and Career Services at Eastern NewMexico University. At 57, he chose to ride a bull.
A few weeks ago Walkermentioned riding a bull to ENMU rodeo coach and cousin David Browder.The noon-time hoopster says, "I've always wanted to ride a bull, but Inever got the opportunity until now." He feels he is the in the bestshape he has ever been in, and decided it was now or never.
Recently,with a 10-minute lesson from Coach Browder, Walker successfully rodethe bull for eight seconds. He says, "It was a huge rush. I had no fearand that is what was scary. I rode well and it was a lot of fun."
Walker,from a Lovington rodeo family of ropers that has produced a worldchampion, did get a scare after he came off the bull. His spur gotcaught in the rigging, and the bull, angry that he had ridden him, gothis revenge by dragging the avid golfer a few feet before some rodeoteam members freed him.
"I feelit was a great experience, and my thanks goes out to the ENMU rodeoteam and Coach Browder for all of their support," says Walker.
The"ARRP Athlete-of-the-Year," as described by John Kirby in a script hewrote about the ride for News 3 New Mexico on KENW-TV, is now seriouslycontemplating joining the senior rodeo circuit. Kirby says of the idea,"I really appreciate Ty's new mid-life career plans; it's making mywife think that Corvette I've been wanting isn't such a bad idea afterall."
Asidefrom his budding sports career, Walker has many other duties. On thecareer side, he works with students on developing resume techniques,cover letters, job coaching, job placement, career fair, teacher fair,workshops, classroom presentations and cooperative interns. He assistsstudents with finding on- and off-campus jobs through governmentwork-study and student-hire funding. Walker says, "I try to placestudents with jobs that coordinate with their degrees."
Asa personal counselor, Walker works with students with various issuesand concerns anywhere from separation anxiety to bipolar depression.All counseling services are in "brief" therapy sessions not exceeding8-10 sessions per student per semester.
Walkeris also the fraternity advisor. He oversees all fraternity rules,regulations, policies and directs them to be successful in activities,recruitment and retention.
Withall of these duties and activities, Walker says, "I been blessed with agreat staff, secretary and graduate assistant. Eastern has been good tome and I've enjoyed the kids and the experiences here.
"Of course, with my new bullriding hobby, my wife thinks I'm the one who needs counseling."