Northwestern University head football coach Randy Walker passed away last night of an apparent heart attack. He was 52 years old.
Coach Walker was a Miami University alumnus, fullback, head coach, and the only man I've ever met with calves bigger than my dad's. I took Football Theory from Coach Walker and his staff, and the class was not nearly as easy as it sounds. It was about a lot more than X's and O's; what it was really about was coaching theory and how to relate to athletes, especially high school and college kids. The thing that sticks out most in my mind is that Coach Walker taught us that the measure of a coach is not wins and losses, but whether s/he leaves the program better than s/he found it.
I think Walker succeeded in that regard. At NW, Walker was the first coach to lead the Wildcats to four straight seasons of 6 wins or more since the turn of the 20th century. They won a share of the Big 10 title and went to three bowl games. At Miami, Walker won games at a .621 clip, which was the best in school history when he left.
Good thoughts to Coach Walker's wife and children. May he rest in peace.