RMU football coach Walton will step down
Robert Morris football coach Joe Walton signed a two-year contract extension through the 2013 season Tuesday. He plans step down as the Colonials' coach after that year, which will be his 20th at the school.
After leaving his post, Walton, the only football coach in Robert Morris history, will become special assistant to athletic director Craig Coleman.
"I'm looking forward to getting 20 years in and being able to coach a couple of more years," said Walton, who made the transition from the NFL to the college ranks after coaching the New York Jets from 1983-89 and serving as Steelers offensive coordinator from 1990-91. "Staying at Robert Morris is a great thing because it's become my life.
"Once I got to this year, to 18, I felt like, 'Gosh, darn, I feel pretty good.' As long as I'm not hurting the team, as long as I can still coach, let's get closure and allow them to plan for the future of the program."
Walton has built Robert Morris into one of the dominant programs in the Northeast Conference.
In 18 seasons, Walton's teams are 103-73-1.
Last season, he guided the Colonials to their first NEC regular-season championship in 10 years and their sixth league title overall. As a result, the Colonials became the first NEC member to play in the Division I FCS playoffs. The six titles are the most in NEC history.
Walton's best season was 2000, when the Colonials finished 10-0 and won the Division I-AA (now FCS) mid-major national title. It's the only Robert Morris football team to finish undefeated in the 36-year history of the program.
The Colonials enter Saturday's game at Monmouth having won 12 of their past 13 games against NEC opponents.
Walton said he's appreciative that once he stops coaching, he will be able to remain in the athletic department.
"It's exciting to know I still will have some impact at the college," he said. "The university has been good to me, and maybe I can give back some more.
"If you had asked me in 1994 (his first season at RMU) if I'd be coaching at Robert Morris for 20 years, I would have thought you were crazy. When I first started coaching, I didn't know if I could coach college kids after coaching in pro ball all those years. It turned out to be a wonderful thing for me."Additional Information:
» 103-73-1 record
» Six Northeast Conference titles
» Back-to-back ECAC Bowl wins in 1996 and '97
» Guided the Colonials to Division I-AA (now FCS) mid-major No. 1 ranking in 1999 and 2000.
» Finished with the only perfect record in school history (10-0) in 2000
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