Coach Johnny Orr is used to leading teams onto the basketball court, but on Wednesday the 85-year-old former Cyclone coach was using a golf cart to lead the way.
“He’s saving his energy to play me in golf later,” said his former assistant and Lighten Up Iowa Founder Jim Hallihan. The two both live in Ankeny, and play golf.
The Start Somewhere Walk is part of Gov. Terry Branstad’s efforts to get Iowa to be the healthiest state in the nation. After one year, the state has moved in rank from 20th to 16th, according to Hallihan. “I exercise 15 to 20 minutes a day each morning,” said Orr. The coach was also there to autograph jerseys and basketballs.
The walk in Ankeny was a success with close to 100 people walking in the bright sun. the walk was joined part of the way by some elementary students out on recess. Statewide numbers of walkers are still being tallied.