Pat Fitzgerald (

Northwestern University today announced that the school has agreed to a contract with Head Football Coach Pat Fitzgerald that will keep him coaching the Wildcats through the 2030 season.

“We have one of the best coaches in college football and, more importantly, a leader uncommonly suited to this University,” said Athletic Director Jim Phillips.

“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,” Phillips added.

The sixth-longest tenured head coach in FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) football, Fitzgerald is the winningest coach in Northwestern history after reaching the 100-win milestone in the 2020 season opener at Ryan Field, and finishing the campaign with his 106th victory in the 2021 Citrus Bowl.

Fitzgerald’s 106 career victories at Northwestern are the sixth-most by an active FBS coach with the same program. Since 2015, he has guided Northwestern to a .750 winning percentage or better four times in Big Ten play, which ranks second among league opponents.

“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,” said Fitzgerald.

He praised NU President Morton Schapiro, Phillips and other school leaders, saying “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.”

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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