By Paul M. BanksÂ
From the Northwestern Sports Information Department Media Guide
“In 1995, when Northwestern took the â€œPurple to Pasadena,â€ the heart and soul of that Wildcat team was defensive standout Pat Fitzgerald, whom on May 1, 2008, was bestowed his sportâ€™s pinnacle achievement: induction into College
Footballâ€™s Hall of Fame. A two-time Bronko Nagurski and Chuck Bednarik Award winner, Fitzgerald is one of 13
former players to enter the College Hall of Fame this year. The 15th Northwestern player and/or coach to be inducted into the Hall, Fitzgerald will be honored at a ceremony on Dec. 9, 2008 in New York, and then enshrined in July of 2009.
Fitzgeraldâ€™s passion, dedication and work ethic were some of the primary reasons why Northwesternâ€™s defense was one of the nationâ€™s best, and why the Wildcats savored unparalleled success for two straight seasons in â€™95 and â€™96. Northwestern won back-to-back Big Ten titles and posted a two-year Big Ten mark of 15-1. Now, 13 years later, Fitzgerald, is using those same traits that made him an outstanding college player to lead Northwesternâ€™s football program as its head coach.
A Wildcats assistant from 2001 through the summer of 2006, Fitzgerald was named Northwesternâ€™s 29th head coach on July 7, 2006, succeeding Randy Walker, who died suddenly on June 29, 2006. He is the youngest (33 years old) head football coach among Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division IA) schools.
Named one of college footballâ€™s top recruiters by SI.com in 2004 and inducted into Northwesternâ€™s Athletic Hall of Fame. Fitzgerald is aÂ native of Orland Park, Ill., and a graduate of Carl Sandburg High School.”
And I’d like to add “S-I-C-A….SICA! SICA!”Â
An Exclusive with Pat Fitzgerald
Â The Pat Fitzgerald Northwestern Media Day Press Conference
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