Saturday, July 01, 2006

Randy Walker: May 28, 1954-June 29, 2006

We are dedicating our entire update today to Randy Walker, the Northwestern coach who died late Thursday night of an apparent heart attack. Here is a look at coverage from around the country:

Chicago Tribune: Athletic director Mark Murphy said Walker leaves a "tremendous legacy." Northwestern must find a coach under less than ideal circumstances, and assistant Pat Fitzgerald could be at the top of the list. Illinois' Ron Zook, a teammate of Walker's at Miami (Ohio), choose to issue a statement to express his feelings because it was too painful emotionally to reminisce about his friend. Walker always had time for everybody, and columnist Rick Morrissey has plenty of memories of the coach (registration).

Bill Sanders, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: It's a job that comes with heavy doses of stress. Just ask Central Florida's George O'Leary, or Georgia Tech's Chan Gailey, coaches who survived heart attacks (registration).

Lance Pugmire, Los Angeles Times: Walker was much criticized after the tragic death of defensive back Rashidi Wheeler in 2001.

Mark Stewart, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: College football has just lost one of its most innovative minds.

Mike Lucas, Capital Times: Just as Walker once said, getting through this is going to take a lot of time and a lot of prayers.

Chip Scoggins, Minneapolis Star Tribune: Walker was known in Big Ten circles as a sincere and personable coach who was an underrated member of his profession.

Randy Peterson, Des Moines Register: Former Iowa assistant and current San Diego State defensive coordinator Bob Elliott has plenty of good memories of Walker.

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