June 30, 2006
Big Ten Conference Commissioner James E. Delany:
"We are shocked and saddened to hear of the loss of Randy Walker. Not only was Randy a great friend to the conference, but to his players, his staff and fans. Randy accomplished a great deal at every institution he worked for, but most importantly he personified the values of intercollegiate athletics-he was positive, resilient and honest. Randy will truly be missed and our hearts go out to his wife, Tammy, his children, Abbey and Jamie, and the entire Northwestern community."
Indiana head coach Terry Hoeppner:
"I am in absolute shock. I lost a friend and someone I learned a lot from in our time together at Miami (Ohio). He is a great man, a great family man and a great person. Words cannot express how much I will miss him. Jane and my prayers go out to his wife, Tammy, and his two children, Abbey and Jamie."
Illinois head coach Ron Zook:
"I am deeply shocked and saddened by the news of Randy's passing. I obviously have a long history with Randy that dates back to our time in college and know that he was a man of great passion. He was passionate about his family, his players, the Northwestern community and the game of football. I've also known his wife, Tamara, since our days at Miami and offer her and her children our deepest thoughts and prayers. This is a tragedy that makes you take a step back and appreciate every precious moment you have on this earth. Randy will truly be missed."
Michigan State head coach John L Smith:
"I'm in shock. This is a devastating loss for his family. My condolences go out to Randy's wife Tammy and his children. My thoughts and prayers are with them. We've lost truly one of the good guys in the coaching profession. I liked being around Randy and talking football. I also enjoyed coaching against him. Obviously, my heart goes out to his coaching staff and all of his players during this difficult time. He was a great guy, a class guy and he'll be missed."
Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema:
"The college coaching community has lost a friend in Randy Walker. We've always had a great deal of respect and admiration for the manner in which he went about his business as head football coach at Northwestern. We extend our sincere sympathies to his family, friends and the entire Northwestern community."
Wisconsin Director of Athletics and former head coach Barry Alvarez:
"We're saddened to hear the news of Randy's death. I've known Randy for a long time. He was a fierce competitor and a man of principal who had a tremendously positive impact on the lives of so many young people. He will be missed greatly."
Minnesota Director of Athletics Joel Maturi:
Maturi served as the Athletics Director at Miami of Ohio when Walker was the football coach there in 1998
"Obviously, I'm stunned by the news. Words can't express the sorrow the Minnesota family feels for the Walkers and the entire Northwestern community. Randy was born to coach, but NU hasn't just lost a great coach, but a father, a husband and many of us have lost a great friend. It's a real tragedy and our hearts go out to his wife, Tammy, and his children, Abbey and Jamie."
Minnesota head coach Glen Mason:
"To say that we are shocked at the University of Minnesota to hear the sad news of the loss of Randy Walker is an understatement. I have known Randy for many years and held him in the highest regard as a football coach, but more importantly, even in higher regard as a man. It truly was a great honor to have him as a colleague coaching in the Big Ten. Our support goes out to his wife, Tammy and the Walker family, as well as Northwestern University."
Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel:
"It certainly comes as a shock. Randy was such a great person and such a good influence on the game of football. I feel for his wife Tammy, his family and the Northwestern football family. This truly is hard to believe."
Miami University Director of Athletics Brad Bates:
"Miami's athletic family is saddened by the passing of Randy Walker. Our thoughts are with Coach Walker's family and his family at Northwestern University. He was a prominent figure on the college football landscape, and his legacy lives on in the fine men he mentored and shaped during his life-long commitment as a college coach. More than being a great coach, he was a great person."
Miami University head coach Shane Montgomery:
"The Miami community mourns the loss of one its finest ambassadors in Coach Walker. His impact on Miami and its football program as both a player and a coach was profound and paved the way for where we are today. He will be sorely missed. Our sympathies go out to his wife, Tammy, his family and the entire Northwestern community."
John Pont, former head football coach, Miami University and Northwestern University:
"This is a great loss for the Cradle of Coaches, Miami University and college football. Though Randy Walker was a good football coach, I will remember him more as a great human being who understood what intercollegiate athletics were truly about. He always kept a good balance between life and football, and his impact went beyond the sport. Wins and losses were secondary to what he expected from his players both academically and as good people."
Mike Watson, Associate A.D., Miami University-Former Miami teammate, Miami Football Administrator:
"Randy Walker is one of the finest individuals I've encountered in my life. He was a model family man, an honest man and a hard worker. You always knew where you stood with him. This is a tragic loss for anyone who ever truly knew the man."
Purdue head coach Joe Tiller:
"Randy was a fierce competitor on the football field and the recruiting trail. His teams were well coached and played hard. We are extremely saddened to hear of his passing and offer our deepest condolences to his family and the Northwestern community."
Bernie Olivas, Executive Director, Sun Bowl Association:
"The Sun Bowl Association is deeply saddened by the loss of Randy Walker. He truly was a great football coach and an even greater individual. Randy was a person who treated everyone with the same kind of respect, no matter who you were. We are better for having known him and he will be sorely missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Tamara and his children, Abbey and Jamie, as well as the entire Northwestern community."
Bill Mallory, former Miami football coach and Randy Walker's collegiate coach:
"I am shocked and deeply saddened by the passing of Randy Walker. I had the privilege of coaching Randy as a student-athlete at Miami (Ohio) (he played fullback from 1973-75) and since then my wife and I have gotten to know the Walkers very well. I've talked with Randy throughout his career and have tremendous respect for all the accomplishments he has achieved, not only as a football coach but also as a family man. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Walker family and the entire Northwestern community."
Northern Illinois head coach Joe Novak:
"Our condolences to the Walker family, his wife Tammy, the kids, and the Northwestern program. It's a big shock. I've known Randy since 1974 when he was a running back at Miami and I was on the coaching staff there. As a player, there was no better competitor. He was intelligent, tough, and you knew down the road that he eventually wanted to coach. As a coach, the same thing, he and his teams were very, very competitive. I last talked to him about six weeks ago. Randy called me about a charity golf outing in the suburbs for the American Football Coaches Association. This is sad. It's hard to believe."
Dan Dalrymple - Former Miami (Ohio) strength and conditioning coach and current New Orleans Saints head strength and conditioning coach:
"Randy was a mentor to me and many of us during his time at Miami. The nature of Miami is you hire young coaches that are just getting started, and he hired a bunch of us when he was still young at the time, too. He really coached us on how to be coaches. There are a whole bunch of us that went on in the coaching ranks and owe a lot to him. There are, I think, six of us in the NFL, Terry (Hoeppner) is at Indiana and Kevin Wilson (former Miami and Northwestern assistant to Randy) is with Oklahoma in the Big 12 and there is Sean Payton (New Orleans Saints head coach) too.
"When he hired me in 1989, the Miami cradle tradition was kind of dying off. He single-handedly restarted that whole thing. The guys he hired, we talk everyday, `what would Coach Walk do in this situation.' That was the influence that he had on all of us. I know with my coaching, I look at so much through his eyes with his passion for coaching and his players. As demanding as he is, they all have a great respect and love because he can push and push and push-but you walk off the field and he was a friend to you as well. He always cared about his players. He was a great man and I am going to miss him."
Randy played for Dick Crum in 1974-75 and then joined his coaching staff at Miami (Ohio) in 1976 as a graduate assistant. He then followed coach Crum to North Carolina where he eventually became the Tar Heels' offensive coordinator
"I first want to extend my condolences to Randy's wife Tammy and their two kids, Abbey and Jamie, and also to the Northwestern community.
"The thing about Randy is, right from the very beginning, you knew he had a set of principals and a clear vision of how things ought to be. Not to say he was a prude, because he wasn't, but he had a sense of right and wrong and no matter who tried to influence him, he didn't stray from those beliefs. I really, really appreciated that about Randy.
"Randy was tough, he was demanding, he worked his teams hard, but he was looking ahead to see what his players could become down the road, not only as football players, but as young men. Sometimes without that type of guidance, those young men won't get there. He was a fair guy and possessed all the qualities that you would want in a coach. And certainly with Northwestern he was a good fit, because he really believed in the value of academics. It's a tremendous loss."
Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz:
"I was shocked and saddened to learn of Randy Walker's passing. He was an outstanding, well-respected coach who did a tremendous job at Northwestern. He was a credit to his University and collegiate football. My condolences go to his wife and kids and the entire Northwestern football family."
Penn State head coach Joe Paterno:
"I am deeply saddened at the sudden loss of Randy Walker. He was one of the best and brightest the Big Ten and the coaching profession had to offer. His competitiveness and ingenuity on the field were matched by his character and integrity off it. It is a terrible loss for Northwestern, the Big Ten and the coaching profession. Our thoughts and prayers are with Randy's family and the Northwestern players, fans, and community."
Bo Schembechler, University of Michigan Football Coach (1969-89):
"I was so shocked when I heard the news. Randy was a great coach and a
wonderful guy. He was so young and it's very sad and sobering. Randy was
doing a wonderful job at Northwestern and was doing great things with
his team. This has to be devastating for his family and Northwestern
"I took great pride in Randy's remark, early-on in his career, that he
was patterning his coaching philosophy to resemble mine. Obviously, over
the years, that has changed, but I am proud to have known Randy and to have had some impact on his coaching philosophy. His death is a big loss to the
University of Michigan Athletic Director Bill Martin:
"Everyone within the Michigan Athletic Department is praying for Randy
Walker's family and friends. We are all terribly saddened by his loss.
He was a wonderful person and a great coach."
University of Michigan head coach Lloyd Carr
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Walker family and to the
Northwestern community. We will miss Randy in the Big Ten Conference and
in the coaching profession, and we will remember him as a coach who was
the ultimate competitor."