Wake Forest Baseball Coach Tom Walter Donates Kidney to Outfielder Kevin Jordan


Feb 8, 2011

Wake Forest Baseball Coach Tom Walter Donates Kidney to Outfielder Kevin Jordan Coaches sacrifice a lot for their jobs, but very few have ever given what Wake Forest baseball coach Tom Walter did this week.

Walter is in just his second season at Wake Forest after restoring the University of New Orleans' baseball program, which was ravaged like the rest of the city by Hurricane Katrina. Clearly, Walter has a knack for helping out.

So much so that he donated a kidney to one of his players, even though the 19-year-old freshman has never played a game for the Demon Deacons.

As the Winston-Salem Journal reported, the player, Kevin Jordan, was drafted by the Yankees in the 19th round of the 2010 draft, but he was diagnosed with ANCA vaculitis in April. The issue reduced his kidney functioning to 8 percent. He attended classes while connected to dialysis with a catheter in his stomach, and he had no suitable matches in his family to donate a kidney.

Enter Walter, who decided he'd offer up his kidney if he was a match. He was, and he followed through.

"When we recruit our guys, we talk about family, and we talk about making sacrifices for one another, for our teammates," Walter told the newspaper. "That's something we take very seriously, and I think this is something that anybody would do for a family member. So once I had the support of my family, Wake Forest and [athletic director] Ron Wellman and my players, to me it was a no-brainer decision."

The two underwent successful surgery on Monday. Jordan will be able to live without the dialysis, while Walter can expect a few months of severe fatigue. He should also be expecting several thousand words of praise written about him and several hundred letters sent to him, because what he did was truly inspiring.

Just don't tell Walter; he's of the belief that the story should not be about him.

"If he gets back on the field," Walter said of Jordan, "that's going to be the best story of all."

Photo from Wake Forest Athletics

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