Pat Fitzgerald

A standout linebacker for the Northwestern Wildcats in the 1990s, Fitzgerald was recognized often in his junior and senior seasons of 1995 and 1996. He won three different awards back-to-back in those seasons: Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, the Bronco Nagurski Trophy, and the Chuck Bednarik Award. He later served briefly on the coaching staffs of the University of Maryland, University of Colorado, and University of Idaho before returning to Northwestern as a linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator. Fitzgerald was promoted to head coach at age 31, making him the youngest Division I-A coach by 5 years at the time. In May of 2011, NU Director of Athletics Jim Phillips announced that Fitzgerald and the school agreed to a new 10-year deal that will keep Fitzgerald on the Northwestern sidelines through 2020. 


Team: Northwestern University
Career (years): 8 Years
DOB: December 2, 1974


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  • Inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame (2008)
  • 1996 Jack Lambert Trophy winner (top collegiate linebacker)
  • 2x Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year (1995, 1996)
  • 2x Bronco Nagurski Trophy winner (1995, 1996)
  • 2x Chuck Bednarik Award winner (1995, 1996)
  • 2011 1WORLD Coach of the Year