Pat Fitzgerald’s Mission

Northwestern football has long been in the scrapheap of the Big Ten, but a former Wildcat himself is bringing the program to new heights.

Pat Fitzgerald’s Northwestern Wildcats lost this Saturday to Ohio State in arguably the biggest regular season game for the Wildcats in many years.  Yet despite the loss, the media coverage of the game helped  propel Northwestern into the national spotlight.  None of this would have likely happened without Fitzgerald at the helm.

A former Northwestern linebacker, Fitzgerald played for the Wildcats in the 1995 Rose Bowl, the last time they played in a major bowl game.  As head coach, he led the Wildcats to a victory in the Gator Bowl last winter, the first bowl victory in over 60 years.  For a program that has only played in 11 bowl games in its over 100 year history, Fitzgerald’s accomplishments on the field are even more significant.

After a 10-3 record last season and a 4-0 start to the year, the national sports media has started to notice the positive trend going on in Evanston with the 19th-ranked Wildcats.  College Gameday visiting the campus truly showed the growth in the program.

Despite his early success, Fitzgerald still has a lot to prove.  The Wildcats are only 5-11 versus ranked teams during his tenure as head coach, and are 1-4 in bowl games.  Plus, Northwestern has come up short in big games recently, notably the overtime loss to Michigan last season and the game last Saturday.  But that isn’t stopping Fitzgerald from trying to achieve his ultimate goal:  winning a national championship.

A Wildcat through and through, there is no better person to coach the team than Fitzgerald.  If the program continues to win and be put on the national stage, Fitzgerald’s dream of bringing a national championship to Evanston might eventually come true.

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Pat Fitzgerald’s Mission

  1. raleighh

    1. Nice article, don’t think anyone has done a profile on a coach or program yet and you did a solid job with this. Northwestern is a tough job and is hardly ever mentioned except when people talk about its academic prowess.
    2. Perhaps include some stats about Fitzgerald since he’s been the coach after you say gameday would’ve never been at Northwestern to support your argument that it wouldn’t have happened without him as coach.

    Reply
  2. loganbooker

    I would have started the paragraph mentioning College Gameday coming more like: “With College Gameday coming earlier this season, the growth of the program is prevalent…..”

    Also, please make your links open up in a new window by clicking that option when you create the link. It is a LOT of people’s, including my own, major pet peeve when all that loading and returning takes place.

    Reply
  3. crstroh

    Love that you chose this topic. I think it’s definitely a story in the Big Ten worth telling and following in the future. I really liked your closing graf a lot. I only have a few minor suggestions:
    1. Add Fitzgerald’s title the first time you mention him.
    2. Comma splice in the second sentence of the fifth graf. Minor error, but it just caught my attention.
    3. Your transitions in the 5th graf are a little awkward. I’d just try to reword them a little, but that’s probably just a personal stylistic issue.
    Overall, good job!

    Reply

Leave a reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s