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Flashback #68: NU Coach Randy Walker Dies (2006)

Randy Walker of Northwestern manages a smile near the end of a game against Wisconsin on October 4, 2003. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/ Getty Images)

Randy Walker of Northwestern manages a smile near the end of a game against Wisconsin on October 4, 2003. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/ Getty Images)

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As of 670 The Score’s 20th Anniversary on January 3rd, the station has begun to reveal (in chronological order) the Top 100 Chicago Sports Stories that have occurred since they first went on the air 20 years ago. Once all 100 of these “flashbacks” have been revealed, fans will be able to vote for which stories they believe are the most significant in the 20 year history of The Score. To see all of the Flashbacks that The Score has posted so far, please visit 670 The Score’s 20th Anniversary page.

June 29, 2006 – NU football coach Randy Walker dies

At the age of just 52, Northwestern head football coach Randy Walker suddenly died of a heart attack just before the 2006 season was to begin.

Walker, who led the Wildcats to a share of the 2000 Big Ten title and a trip to the Alamo Bowl, led Northwestern to a 14-10 combined Big Ten record during his final three seasons as head coach.

Walker joined the Wildcats in 1999 and guided Northwestern to a seven-year record of 37-46 (third most wins in NU history.) He was ranked 27th on the NCAA’s all-time wins list (96-81-5) for active Division I-A football coaches who have at least five years of I-A coaching experience.

Following the 2000 season, Walker was named the Big Ten’s Coach of the Year.

Just two months before his sudden death, Walker was awarded an extension that would have kept him as the Wildcats head coach through the 2011 season.

Shortly after Walker’s death, linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator Pat Fitzgerald was promoted to head coach.

The Score will continue to release a new Flashback each weekday until they reach 100. Check back tomorrow for a new one, or check out all of the previous Flashbacks: 670 The Score’s 20th Anniversary »