The Pat Fitzgerald era at Northwestern is poised to last for another ten years after he signed a massive contract extension with the program.
Fitzgerald is coming off a 7-2 season that concluded with a Citrus Bowl win over Auburn and a the team’s first top 10 finish since 1995. He had the Wildcats in the Big Ten Championship Game for the second time in three seasons.
Over his 15 years at Northwestern, Fitzgerald is 106-81 with ten bowl appearances and five wins. He’s been so good in transforming the once moribund program that he’s gotten significant NFL interest.
Needless to say, the college football world and Northwestern fans in particular are thrilled that he’s staying. Here’s what fans and reporters are saying on social media:
Pat Fitzgerald once told me: "My commitment is to be here. I'd love to have the opportunity to have my kids go to the same grade schools, the same high schools and be around these types of players."
What it would mean for him to coach his sons at Northwestern… https://t.co/Ne6EtmaWcb
— Chris Emma (@CEmma670) January 27, 2021
He deserves it. He’s a great coach but most importantly has stayed loyal and done so much for their community. Congrats to him.
— Lucas (@wlwlucas) January 27, 2021
Easy to like Pat
— Ethan (@Thoughtsofethan) January 27, 2021
Even fans of rival programs like Ohio State are glad to have Fitzgerald back. Then again, maybe they just like beating his Wildcats. The Buckeyes are 8-0 against Fitzgerald since he took over in 2006 and on a nine-game winning streak against them overall.
I'm a buckeye for life but always love and respect Pat for staying at Northwestern! Has built that program into a good football school.
— Producer Bob (@BroadcastBob66) January 27, 2021
Northwestern still has some ways to go before it’s on par with programs like Ohio State and Penn State. But Pat Fitzgerald has put the Wildcats in a position to regularly challenge Big Ten West giants like Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska.
It’s clear that Fitzgerald is committed to making his alma mater into one of the elite college football programs.
And he’s going to have a long time to make that dream come true.