It's not really a ten-year contract "extension" because Northwestern football coach Pat Fitzgerald had already signed a seven-year extension in 2009 (keeping him in Evanston through 2016), but the Wildcats announced Tuesday that Fitzgerald will remain NU coach through 2020. Said NU Athletic Director Jim Phillips:â†µâ†µ
"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.
Fitzgerald has been a great success for the Wildcats as head coach after a stellar career as a NU linebacker and assistant to Randy Walker, whose sudden passing in 2006 stunned the college football world. Fitzgerald is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame and has led the Wildcats to three consecutive bowl games and an overall 34-29 record in his five seasons. This will solidify NU's football program for years to come and hopefully help attract more and better recruits. Someday, that elusive bowl win will come to Evanston.â†µâ†µ