Pat Fitzgerald Became Head Football Coach at Northwestern University After the Previous Coach Died

Pat Fitzgerald became the head football coach for the Northwestern University Wildcats in 2006 after Randy Walker, the previous head coach, died. Prior to taking over head coaching duties Pat served as the linebacker coach for Northwestern on the defensive side of the ball from 2001-2005. Despite a 0-2 record in post season bowl games Coach Fitzgerald has enjoyed a fair degree of success in leading the Wildcats to a record greater than.500 (27-22) while competing in the challenging Big Ten Conference.

Prior to signing on with Northwestern in 2001 as an assistant coach Fitzgerald coached linebackers at the University of Maryland (1998), the University of Colorado (1999), and the University of Idaho (2000) before joining the Northwestern Wildcats in 2001. Northwestern in located in Evanston, Illinois which is an affluent north shore Chicago suburb on Lake Michigan. For coach Fitzgerald the coaching move to the Chicago land area was a bit of a homecoming as the distinguished coach was born in the southwest Chicago suburb of Orland Park and played his own college football for Northwestern.

Before Pat transitioned from linebacker coach to head coach his predecessor was a man by the name of Randy Walker who coached the Wildcats from 1999-2005. Coach Walker was responsible for hiring his eventual successor. During the time that Walker was in charge of the program his team UFABET ไม่มีพลาดแน่นอน went 37-46 with their best year being the 2000 season when the squad went 8-4 and captured a share of the Big Ten Conference title before being thrashed by the University of Nebraska 66-17 in the December 30, 2000 Alamo Bowl. Sadly, Coach Walker died abruptly of a heart attack on June 29, 2006 at the relatively young age of 52.

On July 7, 2006, a little over a week since the shocking death of Coach Randy Walker, Northwestern University named Pat Fitzgerald, the long-time assistant to the program, as the new head coach. At the time of the announcement Pat Fitzgerald was only 31 years old. At just 31 Pat was at the time the youngest head coach in Division-I football by more than five years.

In his youth Pat was a standout player for the Northwestern Wildcats from 1993-1996 where he was twice honored as the Big Ten Defensive Player of the year as a linebacker. After graduating Fitzgerald briefly considered an NFL career while playing for the Dallas Cowboys in 1997 before deciding that his true calling was coaching.