Vice President Biden Speaks at DE Sports' Hall of Fame Event Honoring Coach Walsh

Vice President and Archmere Alumnus Joseph R. Biden '61 served as a surprise speaker at the 2012 Delaware Sports Museum Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Thursday, May 17, 2012. He attended in honor of Coach E. John Walsh, who was being inducted into the Hall of Fame. “He urged us to play the game the same way you lived your life, with passion and integrity,” Biden said. “No matter how good you were, Coach always stressed that you were a teammate first.”
FROM THE NEWS JOURNAL: The surprise speaker exited the stage, and Bob Tattersall, presiding over the 37th annual Delaware Sports Hall of Fame induction banquet Thursday, returned to utter one of the evening’s best lines.
 
“Only in Delaware,” the longtime Wilmington Friends School football coach said, “do you get that.”
 
What the 500-some assembled guests at the Center on the Riverfront had just gotten was an impromptu speech from Vice President Biden, just “Joe” to many in the room. Biden had given the 2012 inductees and other gathered Hall-of-Famers the greatest compliment of all.
 
“My dream growing up was to be counted among you, not to be vice president of the United States,” he said. “Sometimes you’ve got to settle.”
 
But his appearance was very personal.
 
Among the nine inductees was John Walsh, Biden’s football coach at Claymont’s Archmere Academy in the early 1960s. He’d left an indelible impression upon many, the U.S. senator-turned-vice president among them.

“He urged us to play the game the same way you lived your life, with passion and integrity,” Biden said. “No matter how good you were, Coach always stressed that you were a teammate first.”

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Archmere Academy is a private, Catholic, college preparatory co-educational academy,
grades 9-12 founded in 1932 by the Norbertine Fathers.