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Success earns Northwestern coach contract extension

EVANSTON, Ill. -- Randy Walker has turned
Northwestern from Big Ten doormat to legitimate title contender.
In the process, he earned himself four more years to take the
program even further.

Northwestern director of athletics Mark Murphy announced Monday
that the university has extended Walker's contract through the
2011 season.

Walker, who joined the Wildcats in 1999 after a successful
nine-year tenure at Miami of Ohio, was previously
signed through the 2007 campaign.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. He earned an
initial extension after leading the Wildcats to a share of the
2000 Big Ten championship.

"I'm really pleased that we were able to reach an agreement with
Randy on a contract extension," Murphy said. "I have tremendous
respect for the way he runs the program. We've enjoyed great
success in recent years."

Walker, who has moved into second place on Northwestern's
all-time wins list (37), is the first Northwestern coach to
guide three different teams to the postseason. In addition, he
is the first Northwestern coach to direct three straight teams
to four or more Big Ten wins.

"I'm pleased in my time at Northwestern that I've had the
support and trust of President Bienen and the leadership of this
institution," Walker said. "I respect the mission and direction
of Northwestern and greatly admire and respect the
decision-makers here.

"I'm thankful for the opportunity given to me by President
Bienen and Mark Murphy, and will continue to work hard to give
the entire Northwestern community a program in which they can
take pride."

Northwestern is coming off a 7-5 season that included a trip to
the Sun Bowl. It was the Wildcats' second bowl game in three
years and their third since 2000.

Walker appears to be in prime position to build on this past
season's success with 18 starters returning from last year's
squad.