Northwestern gives Pat Fitzgerald new deal through 2030

Dec 31, 2018; San Diego, CA, United States; Northwestern Wildcats head coach Pat Fitzgerald runs onto the field during the 2018 Holiday Bowl against the Utah Utes at SDCCU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Northwestern and football coach Pat Fitzgerald agreed Wednesday to a new contract through the 2030 season.

Fitzgerald, 46, has held the job at his alma mater since 2006, leading the Wildcats to a 106-81 record with 10 bowl appearances.

“We have one of the best coaches in college football and, more importantly, a leader uncommonly suited to this University,” vice president for athletics and recreation Jim Phillips said in a news release. “Over the course of his tenure, Coach Fitzgerald has built a culture of unwavering belief in excellence both on and off the field, and led our Wildcats to unprecedented sustained success. They boast incredible achievement in the classroom, in the community and in competition, and will for years to come.”

He is the winningest coach in school history and the sixth-longest tenured head coach in the FBS.

Northwestern finished 7-2 and ranked No. 10 in the country in 2020 after winning the Big Ten West division for the second time in three years and beating Auburn in the Citrus Bowl. Fitzgerald was named the Bobby Dodd National Coach of the Year.

It was the highest end-of-season ranking for the program since 1995, a team that featured Fitzgerald as a starting linebacker.

“From the moment I stepped on campus as an undergraduate, I have believed this is the finest University in the country, with the potential to offer an unmatched student-athlete experience,” Fitzgerald said in the release.

“… We have built the foundation to compete for championships in tandem with the best academic and personal development opportunity anywhere in college football. We all have a lot to be proud of, but our best is yet to come.”

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–Field Level Media