June 30, 2006

American Football-Northwestern coach Walker dies

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Northwestern University football coach
Randy Walker died of an apparent heart attack Thursday night,
school officials said.

Walker, 52, had complained of chest pains and was taken to
a local hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

"This is a devastating loss, not only for our athletic
program, but for the entire Northwestern community,"
Northwestern Director of Athletics Mark Murphy said in a

Walker, who was entering his eighth season as head coach of
the Wildcats, had been given a contract extension through 2011
in April.

He came to Northwestern after a nine-year tenure at Miami
(Ohio) University.

Walker was named the Big Ten conference Coach of the Year
in 2000 and guided Northwestern teams to three bowl games.

In October, 2004, Walker had been hospitalized for two days
with myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle usually
caused by a virus.