- Twitter: @coachfitz51
Head Football Coach, Northwestern University
National Advisory Board
Pat Fitzgerald started leading the a revival of football at Northwestern University in 1993 as a player and continues it as the school's head football coach.
From leading linebacker drills in practice to teaching hundreds of Northwestern freshmen the school fight song at the start of each academic year to serving on the Illinois Reform Commission aimed at rooting out political corruption, Fitzgerald brings passion and energy. His College Football Hall of Fame playing career included twice being named All-America, twice winning both the Bronko Nagurski and Chuck Bednarik Awards (the first player to accomplish that double-double), and leading Northwestern to back-to-back Big Ten titles and a Rose Bowl appearance in the mid-'90's.
As coach, he has led Northwestern to bowl appearances each year since 2008, while overseeing a program perennially near the top of the country in annual graduation rate. Fitzgerald and his wife Stacy are the annual honorary chairpersons for Erin Olmsted Memorial Scholarship 5K Race in their Illinois hometown of Orland Park. He is also a regular participant for the St. Baldrick's Foundation, an organization that helps raise funds for childhood cancer research.
In addition to his January 2009 appointment to the Illinois Reform Commission, Fitzgerald was named to the AFCA's Ethics Committee. He began his term in the fall of 2009. Fitzgerald is also dedicated to helping improve youth football safety as a member of USA Football's Tackle Advisory Committee, working to provide a positive youth experience for the nearly three million children playing football. A graduate of Orland Park's (Ill.) Carl Sandburg High School, Fitzgerald resides in Northfield with his wife, Stacy, and three sons, Jack, born in November 2004, Ryan, born in September 2006, and Brendan, born in February 2009.