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Duane Chanay headshot Derrick Watts headshot Mark Esposito headshot Nate Ourada headshot Burke Walker headshot
Duane Chanay, ’66 Derrick Watts, ’91 Mark Esposito, ’93 Nate Ourada, ’95 Burke Walker, ’99

Duane Chanay, ’66

Duane Chanay headshotDuane Chanay attended Vinland High School in Vinland, Kansas, for two years and lettered in basketball before transferring to Baldwin High School in Baldwin City, Kansas. There he lettered two years in basketball and one year in football. He graduated Salutatorian.

Chanay entered Baker University in the fall of 1962 and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biology in 1966. He played basketball for Head Coach Jim Irick and was active in several intramural sports as well.

He earned a master’s in vertebrate zoology from the University of Kansas, and in 1969 he was the recipient of a National Science Foundation Summer Institute position at Rocky Mountain Geology and Ecology.

Chanay has coauthored three scientific articles. They were published in Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science, Transactions of the Illinois Academy of Science, and Journal of Water Pollution Control Federation (Washington, D.C.).

In the fall of 1968 he began teaching at Black Hawk Community College in Moline, Illinois, in the Department of Natural Sciences and Pre-Engineering. He retired in 2000 after 32 years. He served as department chair for 11 years from 1989 to 2000.

In the fall of 1979 he accepted a temporary position as golf coach, which turned into a 20-year coaching career. During this time he won 13 Arrowhead Conference championships, nine Region IV Division II championships, and three Region IV Division II runner-up awards. His teams qualified for the National Junior College Athletic Association National Golf Team Championships nine times.

Chanay was inducted into the Region IV Hall of Fame in 2001 and the Black Hawk College Wall of Fame in 1999. He won the Region IV Division II Coach of the Year nine times and served as the Region IV golf director for two years.

Chanay has always taken the time to give back to his community. He served as the United Way chairperson for Black Hawk College and served as president of the Rock Island–Scott County Math and Science Teachers’ Association for two years.

Chanay has been married to Lynn (Foreman), a 1964 Baker grad, for 55 years and  they have two daughters, Lori Klose and Kristin Dowey, and five grandchildren.

Derrick Watts, ’91

Derrick Watts headshotDerrick Watts graduated from Washburn Rural High School in Topeka, Kansas, as a three-sport letterman. In 1984, he was a state champion in the 800 meters, 4 x 400-meter relay, and 4 x 800-meter relay and was a large contributor to the team’s state title. In 1985, he helped lead both the Junior Blues’ basketball team and the football team to state titles. Watts received All-State honors for football and was selected to play in the Shrine Bowl in 1986, where he scored a touchdown.

Before attending Baker University, Derrick attended Wichita State University on a track and field scholarship. However, his love for football compelled him to transfer to Baker to play for Hall of Fame Coach Charlie Richard.

Watts played three seasons under Coach Richard, 1988, 1989, and 1990, as punt- and kick-return specialist and slot back, earning a varsity letter each season. He holds the title as the 1988 NAIA Annual Punt Return Champion with a total of 410 yards, averaging 17.8 yards per return with one touchdown return.

In 1989, Watts was top three in kickoff returns for the NAIA. His 99-yard kickoff return for touchdown in 1988 was a Baker University and joint NAIA record (NAIA subsequent rule allows returns from the end-zone). In 1990, Watts was honored as an NAIA All-District 10, First Team Offensive Player and contributed over 5,000 yards of all-purpose and special teams yardage during his three-season tenure at Baker. He was recognized by Coach Richard as either the “Play” or “Player of the Game” seven times. In addition to football, Watts was a two-time letterman for track and field.

Watts graduated from Baker University in 1991, with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Business Administration. In the summer of 1991, he served an internship in Washington, D.C., for Senator Bob Dole. Derrick earned his MBA from Baker University in 2004 and has worked as an accountant, internal auditor, and franchise business developer for various companies. He was vice president and cofounder with Troy Hartman, ’89, of ExamOne. He has authored two books: Devotional Shorts, 52 Devotionals for Your Weekly Life’s Strife and Biz Shorts, 35 Wisdoms for Your Business Life’s Strife.

One of Watt’s biggest passions is working with youth football.  He served as president of De Soto Wildcats Youth Football Club in Kansas and served on the Board of Directors for the Football and Cheerleading Club of Johnson County, Kansas (FCCJC).  In 2014, he was recognized as FCCJC’s Man of the Year.  He has had the honor and privilege to coach all three of his sons in youth football.

Watts is married to Kimberly Nichols Watts, ’92, former Baker cheerleader. They have three sons, Trevor, Shane, and Andrew.

Mark Esposito, ’93

Mark Esposito headshotMark Esposito graduated from El Camino High School in Oceanside, California, where he lettered in football, wrestling, and baseball. During his high school career he was named to All-Conference and All-County teams in football and played in the prestigious San Diego versus Los Angeles All Star Football Game in 1987.

In 1988-89, Esposito played football at Saddleback Community College in Mission Viejo, California, where he earned All-Conference and All-District honors and was inducted into the Saddleback College Hall of Fame in 1990. Before arriving at Baker University, Esposito also attended Long Beach State University in Long Beach, California, where he played for NFL Hall of Fame Coach George Allen.

Esposito played center at Baker during the 1992 season, and was fortunate enough to be coached by two Hall of Fame coaches in Head Coach Charlie Richard and Offensive Line Coach Dan Harris. At Baker, Esposito earned All-Heart, All-District 10, and First Team NAIA All-America honors on a team that won the 1992 Heart Championship and advanced to the quarterfinals of the NAIA national playoffs.

Under the guidance of Dr. Karen Exon, Esposito majored in history and minored in political science at Baker. He graduated in 1993 with a Bachelor of Arts in History and later earned a master’s degree in history from Pittsburg State University in 1996 and a PhD in history from West Virginia University in 2005. Esposito has taught history at several colleges and universities, including Baker. He has served as a history professor at Black Hawk College in Moline, Illinois, since 2001, where he also served as chair of the Department of Social Sciences and the director of the Asian Studies Development Program. In his spare time, Esposito has coached baseball, softball, and football, most recently as the offensive line coach for the Rock Island High School freshman football team.

Esposito credits his parents, the late Albert “Mickey” Esposito and Donalin Harper, for helping him to understand the importance of finishing what you start.

Mark is married to Alicia (Macy) Esposito, ’95. They have three children, Dominic, Vincent, and Alaina, and live in Rock Island, Illinois.

Nathan Ourada, ’95

Nate Ourada headshotNathan (Nate) Ourada graduated from Thompson Valley High School in Loveland, Colorado, in 1991. He was a letterman in basketball, track and field, and tennis and named Honorable Mention First Team All-Conference in basketball his senior year, averaging a double/double.

Ourada was recruited to Baker as a high jumper by Head Track and Field Coach Dennis Weber. In 1994, Ourada was named NAIA Outdoor All-American for the first time, placing fourth in the nation. That same year he was also the Heart of America Athletic Conference indoor and outdoor conference champion for high jump.

In 1995, he earned Heart indoor and outdoor conference championships and earned his second NAIA All-America honor as the national runner-up.

Ourada competed in four national championships and became one of Baker’s most decorated track and field athletes. Nearly a quarter of a century later, Ourada’s high jump school record of 6’ 11” set in 1995 still stands.

In addition to track and field, Ourada played basketball for the Wildcats his junior and senior years, served as an athletic trainer for the football and soccer teams for four years, and is a proud member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity.

Ourada graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biology in 1995 and has spent the last 15 years as a financial advisor and partner with Edward Jones Investments in Overland Park, Kansas. He lives in Lenexa, Kansas, with his wife, Jyl, and their children, Alexis and Addison.

Burke Walker, ’99

Burke Walker headshotBurke Walker graduated from Shawnee Mission South High School in Overland Park, Kansas, in 1993. As a two-sport varsity letterman, he was an integral member of the basketball and baseball teams. During his high school baseball career, he was named two-time First Team Sunflower League All-Conference, two-time First Team All-Metro, and two-time First Team All-State selections.

For two years he played in the Ban Johnson wood bat summer league and was selected both years to play in the All-Star game at Kauffman Stadium. He also played two years in a semipro wood bat league, where he traveled throughout the Midwest.

Walker attended Johnson County Community College and played second base for the Cavaliers. From 1994 to 1996, he served a church mission and then attended Bellevue University. He played middle infield and played in the NAIA World Series championship game.

Walker transferred to Baker University his junior year, where he played second base. During his junior year, he led the team in batting average and fielding percentage. He helped lead the team to a conference tournament championship and berth in the regional tournament.

In his junior year, Walker was selected to the First Team Heart of America All-Conference and First Team All-Regional and was named an NAIA All-American. In his senior season, he moved to shortstop and was voted a team captain by his teammates. He once again achieved all three honors of First Team Heart of America All-Conference, First Team All-Regional, and NAIA All-American. He added one more honor his senior year when he was named Heart of America All-Conference Player of the Year.

Walker had several options for playing professional baseball, but he elected to finish his degree and help coach in the fall of 1999 with Head Coach Philip Hannon. Walker was a member of the Delta Mu Delta honor society and graduated from Baker University in December 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in business management.

Walker has worked for several small and large organizations in Kansas City and has served as executive vice president and chief human resources officer with many years of leadership in Fortune 100 and 500 companies.

Walker’s parents, Larry and Jean, instilled in him a strong work ethic and the importance of education. Walker married his high school sweetheart, Julie, and they have three children:  Tyler, Brayden, and Brianna.

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