SALISBURY – A Salisbury street was renamed in honor of a high school basketball coach at a surprise unveiling ceremony last week.
Last Friday, city and school officials recognized Wicomico High School boys’ basketball coach Butch Waller with a road named in his honor.
Long Avenue, located in front of the high school, was renamed Butch Waller Way.
The renaming ceremony was a surprise to Waller, who was greeted at the street by the school band, local officials and familiar faces.
Salisbury Mayor Jake Day commended Waller for his dedication to generations of student athletes and declared each March 16 as Butch Waller Day in Salisbury.
“We are out here today to celebrate one of the most important people that has ever been a part of our community,” he said. “You have built a dynasty, but more importantly you have impacted so many lives.”
Waller has been a physical education teacher, baseball coach, golf coach and has spent 52 seasons as basketball coach at Wicomico High School. He currently holds the Maryland record of 805 career victories.
Waller led the boys’ basketball team to 21 regional championship wins and 21 state Final Four appearances, the most of any Bayside Conference school in boys basketball and second most in Maryland boys basketball history. The 2002 Wicomico High team won the Maryland Class 2A State Championship in which they completed the perfect season at 28-0.
Waller said he was shocked at the large crowd that had gathered near the road was for him.
“The first clue I had that something was going on was when I heard the band …,” he said. “Then I saw the mayor and thought something was up. I didn’t think it was (for) me. I thought it was some sort of presentation for the school.”
Waller attributed his successful career at Wicomico High to his student athletes, their families and the community. “I’ve been fortunate …,” he said.