Northwestern Coach Pat Fitzgerald Named 1World’s Coach of the Year
Evanston, IL - Wilson Football Advisory Member and Northwestern University head football coach Pat Fitzgerald has been named the inaugural 1WORLD Sports Coach of the Year, the organization announced at its first-annual Fitness Festival and banquet on Sunday, May 1.
Founded by Ted Devine, 1WORLD Sports' mission is to educate, motivate and inspire underprivileged youth through sports to become better athletes but more importantly to become better people. Partnering with community groups such as the Chicago Housing Authority, Illinois Youth Soccer Inner City Program and Girls in the Game, 1WORLD Sports had nearly 1,000 mostly at-risk youth complete its Responsibilities of an Athlete workbook this year.
In honoring Fitzgerald with its Coach of the Year Award, 1WORLD Sports cited his status as a "responsible athlete" in the following criteria:
Academics: Northwestern football recently earned its sixth AFCA Academic Achievement Award for having the highest graduation rate in the nation (100 percent). The team just earned its best academic-quarter GPA in program history with a 3.02 in the winter of 2011. Fifty-five student-athletes from the team had GPAs over 3.0 and eight had perfect 4.0 marks.
Community: NU players regularly perform an average of 100 hours of community service each month. In recent weeks, student-athletes have participated in St. Baldrick's efforts to eliminate Pediatric Cancer, canned for Misericordia during the organization's Candy Days, coached Special Olympics teams on a weekly basis and volunteered with Campus Kitchens to fight hunger in local communities.
Teamwork: Devine said of Fitzgerald's program, "One element of the program we really respect is Fitzgerald's creation of the 10-player Leadership Council where he sits down with a group of student-athletes each week to get their views on how best to improve the team. Players must write applications to be nominated for this honor."