Written by Jack Zampillo ’18
“Once a Crusader. Always a Crusader” were the first words 2012 graduate Andrew Walker used to reflect on his relationship with Brother Rice.
“Years pass, life goes on…but anytime I see someone from Brother Rice, it feels like we’re just catching up. It really feels like family.”
Now the co-owner of The Heartland Builders company, Andrew praises how four years on 99th and Pulaski helped prepare him for his future.
“I always felt so much support from the staff,” he said. “The commitment and discipline that’s required of you as a Crusader helped to make for a smooth transition to the next level.”
He recalls long-time principal Jim Antos, whom he still talks to sporadically, as an influential person in his life.
“He cared about us so much and showed love to every individual he crossed paths with.”
Andrew was a four-year member of the football program, excelling as the team running back and cementing his name into the Brother Rice history books. Walker holds the record for the second-most single-season rushing touchdowns in school history with 20. He ranks second in career rushing yards with 2,467 and career yards from scrimmage with 3,030.
“Every year, I became extremely better. That’s the thing about Brother Rice: They’re always pushing the envelope to help you improve.”
Andrew’s head coach, Mr. Steve Nye, spoke very highly of the player and teammate he was.
“A natural leader who lit up any room he walked into,” Nye said. “He was a great competitor, and I was very fortunate to have Andrew as a leader on my team.”
Andrew graduated from Brother Rice, having earned a football scholarship from the University of Indianapolis.
The first couple of years saw Walker on the sidelines, riddled with a torn labrum and unfortunate circumstance. However, the dynamic running back returned to having a successful 4-year career with the GreyHounds. In 622 attempts, he rushed for over 3,000 yards and scored 38 touchdowns. He was named all-conference three out of his four seasons and was voted the 2016 UIndy Offensive Back of the Year.
Andrew graduated in 2017 with an undergraduate degree in business administration and went on to get a master’s in strategic leadership and design.
A brief stint in tech sales led to the blossoming of The Heartland Builders, an Indianapolis-based construction company centered around residential and commercial remodeling. Andrew started the company three years ago, alongside a 50/50 split with his business partner, Lane Dillion.
The Heartland Builders specialize in kitchens, bathrooms, and interior & exterior renovations. They currently hold 15-20 subcontractors and have their eyes set on future expansion. The experience has been rewarding for Andrew and his team, finding joy in constructing desirable living spaces for their customers.
“Our biggest goal has been quality customer service and always delivering on a product,” Walker said. “A customer’s happiness means a lot to us. Seeing someone’s reaction to a new bathroom, a new kitchen, new floors… it’s amazing.”
What advice would you give to current Brother Rice students?
“Take advantage of every opportunity you get. Talk to people. Get to know your professors in college. Try new things and stay curious. It’s never too early to figure out what you’re passionate about.”
Favorite Rice Memory
“Coach Markulin’s classes were definitely the highlight of high school. There’s no doubt.”
To check out The Heartland Builders website, click below!