From NAIA champion to Northwestern coach

By DOCKER HAUB

In 1999, the Northwestern Oklahoma State football team won the NAIA National Championship and was experiencing the peak of Northwestern football to date. Little did the University know that the MVP of that game, Matt Walter, would one day return to his alma-mater to take the reigns as the head football coach

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Coach Walter has been the head coach at Northwestern for 2 seasons now with a record of 3-8 in 2015 and a record of 4-7 in 2016. Walter was the starting fullback at Northwestern in the 90’s and early 2000’s where he recorded no negative rushing yards in his whole career, was given the MVP award in the national championship and was also named Honorable Mention All-American during the 2000 season.

Walter was born in Oklahoma City on August 9, 1978 and adopted from a Catholic charity by his parents who then brought him to Azle, Texas, a small suburb right on the outskirts of Fort Worth, Texas. Walter spent the first 16 years of his life in Azle until he was recruited to play football at

Northwestern Oklahoma State. Walter attended Northwestern Oklahoma State until he graduated in 2001 with a Bachelor’s of science degree as well as a Master’s degree in education.

Walter didn’t always want to be a coach. “I actually went to school to be a CSI,” Walter said. “My degree was in Natural Sciences and I really enjoyed it. I spent all my time in the science building with my undergrad and then when I got done playing I was doing my student teaching in Waynoka (OK), and that whole semester I found myself really missing football so I asked Coach Higgins if I could come back and GA, he hired me as a GA (Graduate Assistant) and I guess the rest is history.”

After Walter received his master’s, he got his first job at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, Louisiana. Walter spent a year at Louisiana Tech as the assistant strength and conditioning coach. He then went on to serve as the head strength and conditioning coach at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana for a year. “I really liked living in Hammond,” Walter said, “Just the French Cajun culture, the food, and the people were great.”