Pat Fitzgerald led Northwestern to one of its best seasons in program history in 2020. The Wildcats went 7-2, finishing the season with a Citrus Bowl win over Auburn. Northwestern should finish the season ranked inside the top 15.
While the future appears to be bright at Northwestern, Fitzgerald is going to consider his offseason options.
CBS Sports reported on Sunday morning that Fitzgerald is expected to consider his NFL options this offseason.
There are reportedly three teams interested in hiring the college football head coach.
The hottest college head coaching candidate in NFL circles will decide on interviews in the middle of the week https://t.co/5Mtqu0mioR
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) January 3, 2021
From the report:
The Lions, Falcons and Texans all have him on their radar, sources said, while other teams could make their interest more formal this week as well. Fitzgerald is expected to be judicious about any interviews he agrees to, but unlike in years past it is less than certain that he will quickly dismiss them and move on with the business of preparing for the 2021 Big Ten season.
Fitzgerald has long been seen as an NFL coach-in-the-making, with the same program building qualities that have attracted pro teams to Matt Rhule and Matt Campbell in recent years. His leadership and organization skills are top notch and he has been able to compete in a top division without having the depth and high-end talent of some other programs. His loyalty to the school where he played has also been admirable.
Fitzgerald, who played at Northwestern, has been the school’s head coach since 2006.
It would be an extremely tough blow for the Wildcats if Fitzgerald leaves for the NFL, but it makes sense for him to consider his options.