Growing up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Wally attended Shorewood High School, where he played football. He entered Carroll College in 1938 and continued a successful athletic career in football.
Graduating in 1942, he returned to his alma mater in the fall as assistant football coach. In 1943 he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was eventually stationed at the Midshipmen's School at Notre Dame, where he was an assistant coach. He took his first head coaching position at Waukesha High School.
In 1949 he came to Lake Forest College as assistant football coach and head basketball coach. After receiving his Master's in P.E. from the University of Wisconsin he became a P.E. instructor. In 1952 Wally took over as head coach of the football team, leading them to the Conference title. In that same year, he was named the Best Small College Coach in the Nation. In 1954 he took a position at Montana State as head football coach and produced another conference champion team. After a short time as assistant with the Chicago Cardinals, Wally returned to Lake Forest as Athletic Director and coach in 1957. His first season back the football team was again conference champs.
In 1959 he entered the professional ranks for good. He became a member of the AFL Houston Oilers' staff that led the team to the AFL Conference title in 1960. He then took a position with the St. Louis Cardinals, but returned to the Houston Oilers as head coach in 1965.
After retiring in 1970, he and his wife remained in the Houston area. Wally became the president of Allsco Incorporated of Houston.