May 10, 2011
Official Northwestern Release (PDF Format)
VIDEO: Senior LB B. McNaul On Fitzgerald, NU Football
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern University has consummated a new 10-year contract with Head Football Coach Pat Fitzgerald, Director of Athletics and Recreation Jim Phillips announced today. The agreement will keep Fitzgerald on the sidelines at Ryan Field through the 2020 season.
"It is paramount for Northwestern football to have great leadership," said Phillips. "There is no better individual to lead Chicago's Big Ten Team than Pat. He is a tremendous teacher and truly values developing young men athletically, academically and socially. Our football program is having unprecedented success -- on the football field, in the classroom and in the community -- and that is due to Pat's outstanding leadership.
"Northwestern is committed to giving our football program all the necessary resources to do tremendous things on and off the field. We certainly are excited to receive the results from our Master Facility Plan which will help direct the next steps regarding our athletic facilities.
"Throughout this entire process, we continue to be grateful for the terrific leadership and support of President Schapiro; Bill Osborn, the Chair of our Board of Trustees and Pat Ryan, the former Chair."
In five seasons as the Wildcats' head coach, Fitzgerald has led Northwestern to three consecutive bowl games -- the last two on New Year's Day -- and 24 wins since 2008. The Wildcats have achieved bowl-eligibility the past four seasons (2007-10).
"I'm humbled and appreciative of the commitment shown by Northwestern" said Fitzgerald. "With this support from our administration, our coaches and players expect to compete for championships."
Fitzgerald, a two-time All-America linebacker for Northwestern in the mid-1990s and a 2008 College Football Hall of Fame inductee, has been a member of the Wildcats' football coaching staff since 2001 and NU's head coach since 2006.
This past season, Fitzgerald was tabbed a finalist for the inaugural Joseph V. Paterno Coach of the Year Award by The Maxwell Club. Just last week, he was named the inaugural recipient of the 1WORLD Sports Coach of the Year honor. Both the Paterno and 1WORLD awards recognize coaches for their ability to develop and coach student-athletes on and off the field. In 2008, Fitzgerald was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year by the Touchdown Club of Columbus, a Munger Coach of the Year semifinalist and a Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year finalist.
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