Brian Walling

Fleet-footed Brian Walling broke through opposition defences and conference rushing records as he ran for an impressive 3,084 yards during five seasons with the Acadia Axemen.

Almost three decades after hanging up his jersey, he still stands as the fourth all-time leading rusher in the Atlantic conference.

In his final year at Acadia, the Axemen finished 8-0 record en route to winning a conference championship. Walling, a powerful 5’8”, 185-pound running back, led the way and was named conference MVP for the second consecutive season.

He compiled many personal achievements along the way. He broke the AUAA and CIAU records for net yards in a season, piling up 1,122 yards. This shattered a record that had stood for two decades. He also ran for the most net yards in a single game with 276 against the Mount Allison Mounties.

Walling’s game was defined by quickness, strength and determination. “I always believed I only needed a hole the size of my shoulder width,” he says. “If my offensive line could gave me that then I could always make something happen, and breaking free on a big run was just a matter of time.”

His success was a reflection of his offensive line and he always fed off their grit and determination.

He was a Hec Crighton Trophy nominee in his final year and Acadia’s athlete of the year. The speedy running back averaged 5.7 yards a carry and he scored 114 points on 19 touchdowns.

Walling was born on the island of Antigua, but moved to Mississauga when he was just three years old. He played his high school football in Mississauga with the Applewood Axemen, where he was a three-time all-star.

Recruited by then-Acadia head coach John Huard, Walling paid his own way out to visit the Acadia campus. He was given a tour by some of the Axemen football veterans, who also took him tubing down the Gaspereau River.

He later attended the Toronto Argonauts’ training camp and spent a summer on their practice roster before returning to Acadia for a fifth and final year. He also earned a tryout with the Miami Dolphins after his agent convinced him to put together a highlight tape. He was cut on the final day of training camp.

Walling followed his stellar Acadia career by making a successful leap to the Canadian Football League. He began his pro career with the Argonauts before spending eight seasons with the Edmonton Eskimos. He concluded his CFL career with the Saskatchewan Roughriders and Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

Walling played 10 years as a running back/fullback and special teams player. He had three Grey Cup appearances and earned two Grey Cup rings. During his time in the CFL he rushed for 1,059 yards and scored two rushing touchdowns. He also caught 32 passes for 219 yards and four receiving touchdowns.

For the past five years Walling has worked as an investment and insurance adviser with HollisWealth in Edmonton, and has worked in the same industry for the past 17-and-a-half years.

Please welcome to the Acadia Sports Hall of Fame, in the individual athlete category, Acadia Axemen running back Brian Walling.