Walter “Rock” Greene, Jackson P. Burley High School – Charlottesville, Virginia

Walter “Rock” Greene was an incredible coach, mentor, and teacher at Jackson P. Burley High School in Charlottesville, Virginia. Coach Greene also worked at several schools in the District of Columbia Public School System (DCPS). He began his coaching career at Jackson P. Burley High School in 1957 as an assistant basketball and football coach. He also taught Physical Education and became the Head Baseball Coach from 1960 – 1963.

Coach Greene’s teams achieved success as champions at the district and state level. Possibly even greater than his coaching and mentoring contributions at Burley High, were his being known for his great character and presence. He was a stern disciplinarian, yet his students saw him as always being a gentleman who was well loved, respectful, compassionate, nurturing, patient, encouraging and willing to listen.

In 1963, at the request of Lemuel A. Penn, Assistant Superintendent of Adult Vocational Education for DCPS, Coach Greene left Burley High to return to his alma mater and teach Physical Education and coach basketball. At Phelps Vocational High School and later at the Washington Math and Science Technology Public Charter High School, Coach Greene continued to make an indelible impact on the students, athletes, staff, and families he worked with.

Coach Greene was recognized by several communities in Delaware, Washington DC, and Charlottesville, Virginia for his sports contributions. In 1986, the Delaware State Hall of Fame inducted him into their ranks for his success as a four year letterman in basketball, football, baseball, and track and field. He earned all-conference honors in football and baseball while at Delaware State University. In 2000, he was inducted into the District of Columbia Coaches Association Sports Hall of Fame. In 2007, he was inducted into the Phelps Vocational High School Athletic Hall of Fame. In 2010, he was honored alongside three other Burley High School coaches for outstanding performance. A Historical Marker was unveiled for the Walter “Rock” Greene and Albert “AP” Moore Gymnasium in 2010 on the campus of historical Jackson P. Burley High School (now Burley Middle School). In 2020 Coach Greene was inducted into the Black College Football Hall of Fame.

Coach Greene will be remembered as a soft spoken man of God, who always got his point across without screaming or yelling. He was a one of a kind leader and a successful high school coach who was blessed with the ability to nurture, listen, encourage and lead without intimidation.

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