Northwestern Coach Pat Fitzgerald Takes Question from 11-Year-Old at B1G Media Day


Perhaps the overall highlight of this year’s edition of Big Ten Media Days was were the children reporters who got in on the act. Working with Junior Journalist, Ethan Kihiu was one of the kids who is getting a really fast start on his potential future career.

Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald left his podium in order to hear Kihiu properly, and answer his question. Watch the video below of the tweet and reigning Big Ten West champion coach interacting:

It was a brand new format this year, for a couple of different reasons. First moving it from a Chicago hotel (typically Hyatt McCormick Place) to Lucas Oil Field provided more air flow for an indoor venue, and space for social distancing, amid covid-19 concerns.

It also gave the host city, Indianapolis, a chance to promote the 2022 national championship game, which will be staeged in this very venue. Pat Fitzergald fielded a series of questions, most of the rest were from grown adults, which covered a multitude of topics, including: vaccines, the virus, what it will take to get his Wildcats over the Big Ten championship hump and much much more.

Fitzgerald discussed the open QB1 derby:

“I look at our quarterback situation I think we got really good depth and I think we have got really good talent. Andrew and Ryan and Hunter, all three have game experience. Hunter in the, Hunter with us, Andrew with us and then Ryan in the SEC.

“So all three of those guys are going to compete here as we start camp, we’ll make a decision, finalize that decision some time during camp, but all three guys had I thought, solid spring practices and we have got younger guys behind them too. So I think we got really good depth there at the quarterback position.”

As well as the topic of adjustment to a new defensive coordinator:

“Jim was a GA for us and so we have known each other for a long time. You don’t replace Mike Hankwitz. And as you look at 400 wins, 51 seasons, Hank was a true coaches coach, a great mentor, a great teacher to all of us as a staff, and amazing with our players.

“But more importantly behind him was Cathy and Jake, so I don’t want to minimize the impact that they had with Hank and a lot of us in the coaching profession are ecstatic for him with the run and the career he had and we’ll miss him in coaching, but we’re happy for him in retirement.”

“But Jim brings an energy level. He’s committed to making this our defense. I believe I’ve got the best group of assistant coaches on defense in the country with Marty Long up front, Tim McGarigle at the linebacker position, and Matt MacPherson at the DB. So it’s going to be a collaborative effort, it started in the off season, but it will continue on through training camp.”

To hear more with Pat Fitzgerald from Media Day go here

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports Illustrated and the  Chicago Tribune.

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