Oct. 26, 2004
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern University Head Football Coach Randy Walker, who was admitted to Evanston Northwestern Hospital Monday afternoon, has been diagnosed with myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle.
According to attending physicians, the cause of Walker's uncommon disorder is presently unknown. Although a variety of medical conditions can cause myocarditis, the most common cause is infection by viruses.
Walker is feeling much better today and resting comfortably. He could be released from the hospital as early as Wednesday.
A decision on when Walker will return to practice and his status for Saturday's game will be made in the coming days.
Northwestern hosts 17th-ranked Purdue in an 11 a.m. homecoming game Saturday at Ryan Field.
Comments From Head Coach Randy Walker
On how he feels ...
"I'm doing much better than I was 24 hours ago. I was in a lot of pain initially, but for the most part, that has completely subsided. Yesterday afternoon was definitely a little shaky. I'm thankful to the doctors and staff who have done a tremendous job caring for me."
On his return to school ...
"I'm still expecting to be released on Wednesday, but I haven't been informed yet as to what my limitations will be once I'm back in the office and on the field. Certainly there will be some reduced hours and limitations to what I can do during practice. I'll just wait for some direction from the physicians. I understand the importance of preparing a football team for a game each week, but I also value my health and well-being. I have a strong feeling that my wife, Tammy, will make sure I'm following the doctors' orders."
On the faith in his staff to get Northwestern ready for Purdue ...
"I have a lot of confidence in my staff that they are getting our football team ready to play a great Purdue team. We were able to meet Sunday and Monday morning before I left for the hospital, and our plan for the week and game is in place. Obviously, our game plan will be tweaked as the week goes along, depending upon practice and personnel. Jerry Brown, our assistant head coach, is handling a lot of my administrative duties, while Mike Dunbar and Greg Colby are coordinating the offense and defense. Our other coaches have picked up some of my special teams' responsibilities and are getting our players where they need to be this week. I'm fortunate to have a great staff and some quality student-athletes who will respond the right way this week."
Will you coach on Saturday? ...
"I hope to be on the sidelines this Saturday, but that decision won't be made until later in the week, and with advice from my doctors and input from Mark Murphy, our athletic director, and my staff. Right now, it's a day-to-day thing. Needless to say, I'm anxious to get back to coaching football."