The Ole Miss Walk of Champions
Maybe we take our Walk of Champions for granted. What do we really know about this legendary walk? The archway to the Walk of Champions on the Ole Miss campus is a photographic canvas for Rebel memories.
At each football game on the Ole Miss campus, we all line up to show support for our Rebel warriors about to enter battle at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. We place kids on shoulders and move close to catch a glimpse of our famed Rebel football players headed to the game.
So where did this tradition begin?
In 1983, Billy Brewer takes the whistle as the head coach of the Ole Miss Rebel football team. History says that he wanted the team to be able to experience and feed on the energy and atmosphere in The Grove. Brewer began walking the team through The Grove at each home game. Each time the team would take a different route to the stadium.
A couple of years later, Brewer began to take the team on the same route. That route is now referred to as The Walk of Champions.
The iconic archway was provided in 1998 by the 1962 Rebel football team. This team was the only team in Ole Miss history to finish with a perfect 10-0 record.
A member of the 1962 team, Samuel W. Owen, said “We want the arch to stand as a symbol of what can be accomplished with teamwork, loyalty and trust.”
Though 30 years have passed, this tradition continues. Rebel family members all throughout The Grove gather to shower the team with Hotty Toddy chants and cheers as they move toward the stadium.
Old habits may die hard, but great traditions die harder.
Long live the Walk of Champions!
Fun Fact: In a 1998 press release about the Arch dedication, it is noted that 17,000 bricks will be required to complete the project.