Pat Fitzgerald Named 2018 Big Ten Coach Of The Year

by | Nov 28, 2018 | RRSN News | 0 comments

EVANSTON, Ill. — After leading Northwestern to its first Big Ten West Division championship, Dan & Susan Jones Family Head Football Coach Pat Fitzgerald has swept 2018 Big Ten Coach of the Year honors, the Conference announced Tuesday. Fitzgerald won the Hayes-Schembechler Coach of the Year award, as selected by Conference coaches, as well as the Dave McClain Coach of the Year award, as voted by the media.

Now in his 13th season at the helm of the Wildcats since taking over in 2006, Fitzgerald led Northwestern to an 8-1 record in Big Ten play, matching a school record for Conference wins in a season. His Wildcats defense allowed a mere 18.8 points per game during Conference play while limiting opponents to just 371.1 yards per game, to claim the program’s first berth in the Big Ten Championship Game.

Fitzgerald’s program went a perfect 5-0 in road games this year, setting a program record with eight-consecutive road victories dating back to last season. The Wildcats will enter Saturday’s Big Ten Championship game with victories in seven of their last eight games, and wins in 15 of their last 16 Big Ten contests.

A native of Chicago’s southwest suburbs, Fitzgerald has been a staple of the Northwestern football family since his playing days in the mid-90’s. He has contributed to 13 of the Wildcats 15 bowl games in program history as a head coach, assistant coach or student-athlete. He is the fourth Northwestern coach to win Big Ten Coach of the Year honors, joining Dennis Green in 1982, Gary Barnett in 1995 and 1996, and Randy Walker in 2000.

The Wildcats will take on No. 6 Ohio State on Saturday in the 2018 Big Ten Championship at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:17 p.m. CT on FOX and WGN Radio AM-720.

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