Lions, Falcons, Texans eyeing Pat Fitzgerald for HC job?
Several NFL teams are interested in Pat Fitzgerald. David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald is coming off a tremendous season with the Wildcats. His program went 7-2 and ended the year with a Citrus Bowl win over Auburn.

According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, Fitzgerald will strongly consider his NFL options over the offseason. Specifically, he has garnered interest from the Detroit Lions, Atlanta Falcons and Houston Texans. La Canfora wrote:

“Fitzgerald is expected to be judicious about any interviews he agrees to, but unlike in years past it is less than certain that he will quickly dismiss them and move on with the business of preparing for the 2021 Big Ten season

“Fitzgerald has long been seen as an NFL coach-in-the-making, with the same program building qualities that have attracted pro teams to Matt Rhule and Matt Campbell in recent years.

“His leadership and organization skills are top notch and he has been able to compete in a top division without having the depth and high-end talent of some other programs. His loyalty to the school where he played has also been admirable.”

This is not the first time Fitzgerald has been linked to a pro gig.

Fitzgerald has served as Northwestern’s head coach since 2006, amassing a 106-81 overall record and a 63-60 mark against Big Ten opponents. Through 10 bowl games, he has gone 5-5.

This past Friday, Fitzgerald spoke to the media about what his team had accomplished over the past year, via NBC Sports:

“We are Big Ten West Champs. We are Vrbo Citrus Bowl champions. We are knocking on the door to where we want to get this program to consistently be winning Big Ten Championships and to be in the Big Ten Championship game now two-out-of-three years, I think speaks about where we are at.

“Again, the credit goes to our players, especially the seniors and our great staff. But this thing is rolling, and you know, there’s so much interest recruiting-wise, it’s unbelievable.

“So I couldn’t be more excited. I know our staff is fired up. We are going to take a week and exhale. It’s been a grind, and be husbands and fathers and just recharge and then when we get back in January, we’ll get going on finishing up who we add, the pieces of the puzzle personnel-wise and get rolling with winter workouts and spring ball.”

In 2018, Fitzgerald captured the Big Ten Coach of the Year award. In 2020, he was named the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year.

This article first appeared on Game 7 and was syndicated with permission.

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