By David Fong
EVANSTON, Ill. — Troy High School graduate Randy Walker has been named a member of the Northwestern University Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2016.
Walker, who was Northwestern’s football coach from 1999-2005, will be formally inducted at a ceremony Sept. 23, then recognized Sept. 24 during the Northwestern football game against Nebraska.
During his coaching tenure at Northwestern, Walker won 37 games, including a Big Ten co-championship in 2000. He led the Wildcats to appearances in the Alamo Bowl (2000), Motor City Bowl (2003) and Sun Bowl (2005).
Walker passed away unexpectedly June 29, 2006 at the age of 52 in the midst of his coaching tenure at Northwestern.
Walker — who already is a member of the Troy Hall of Fame, the Trojan Athletics Hall of Fame and Miami University Athletics Hall of Fame — is a 1972 Troy High School graduate.
Walker played halfback and defensive back on the 1970 and 1971 Troy football teams that went a combined 20-0 and are widely regarded as two of the best teams in school history. He was named first-team All-Western Ohio League as a junior and senior, in addition to being named honorable mention All-Ohio as a senior.
Following his graduating from Troy High School, he went on to play at Miami University. In Walker’s final three years at Miami , the Redskins (now RedHawks) went a combined 32-1-1, finishing the season ranked No. 15, No. 10 and No. 12 in the nation.
Miami won the Mid-American Conference all three of those years, then went on to defeat Florida, Georgia and South Carolina in the Tangerine Bowl (now known as the Capital One Bowl).
Walker was named the team’s most valuable player following his senior season. He finished his career at Miami with 1,757 rushing yards. He was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 13th round the following spring and spent the preseason with the team.
He would end up returning to Miami University in the fall of 1976 as the team’s running back coach, where he would stay for two years. In 1978, he took the same position at the University of North Carolina, taking over as quarterbacks coach in 1982 and offensive coordinator in 1985.
He would make his first coaching stop at Northwestern in 1988, coaching running backs for two years. In 1990, he would accept his first head coaching position, as he returned to coach his alma mater.
His first season at Miami, Walker’s team went 5-5-1 after winning just two games the previous two years combined. Walker would go 59-35-5 at Miami from 1990-98 — including a 10-1 mark in his final year.
During Walker’s coaching career at Miami, his team’s knocked off several ranked opponents, including No. 25 Northwestern (1995), No. 12 Virginia Tech (1997) and No. 12 North Carolina (1998).
Walker left Miami University in 199 to become the head coach at Northwestern. In his time as head coach, he became the third-winningest coach in school history. He was the first Wildcat coach to lead three different teams to bowl games and the first coach in school history to lead three-straight teams to four or more Big Ten victories.
Contact David Fong at dfong@email@example.com; follow him on Twitter @thefong