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Walton out as defensive coordinator

I haven't been around for tonight's basketball game because I've been working the latest breaking story coming out of UM -- the firing of defensive coordinator Tim Walton.

The Herald has spoken to two UM sources confirming the news, which began to spread on message boards late this afternoon. My source told me coach Randy Shannon simply wasn't happy with the way the defense finished the season.

Walton was in charge of the defense for one season. He obviously didn't fare as well as when Shannon was running the show. My source said he did not know how much more involved Shannon wants to be involved in the defense, but he likely will be more involved next season.

I spoke to Northwestern defensive tackle Marcus Forston moments ago who was shocked to hear the news.

"That's the guy I built a relationship with," Forston told me. "He's into the lord. He's a holy man. I really like him a lot."

Walton recruited the six current commitments at Northwestern as well as the two receivers from Miami Booker T. Washington.

"It won't change how I feel about UM. But I really coach Walton a lot. He was somebody you could always go to."

My source said there are currently no candidates for the job. When asked if that person might be someone already on staff, they said "I have no idea. But I don't think so."