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Tim McGarigle returning to Northwestern football as assistant coach

Pat Fitzgerald has his replacement for Jerry Brown.

Scott McMullen throws defended by Tim McGarigle #41 Photo by Tom Pidgeon/Getty Images

Pat Fitzgerald didn’t waste much time filling the empty spot on his coaching staff. According to numerous reports, Northwestern has hired Green Bay Packers quality control coach Tim McGarigle as an assistant coach to replace the recently-retired Jerry Brown. The program has not yet confirmed.

During the aftermath of the Wildcats’ Music City Bowl victory, we actually didn’t get a post up about the announced retirement of Brown, so we apologize if that’s new information to some of you. Losing Brown, a Northwestern legend who had been an assistant coach in Evanston for 25 years after playing for the Wildcats, is a huge loss, but it took less than a week for Fitz to nab another former NU player to take his place.

McGarigle (pronounced mac-GARGLE) was born in Chicago and played linebacker at Northwestern from 2002-2005, totaling a school-record 545 tackles, including 156 in his senior season. He was drafted by the St. Louis Rams and had brief stints in the NFL and UFL before beginning his coaching career as a Northwestern Graduate Assistant in 2011.

From there, McGarigle spent four seasons as the linebackers coach at Western Michigan (the latter three under PJ Fleck), then one season in the same position at Illinois before joining the Packers’ staff in 2016.

It is unclear what role McGarigle will be taking in Evanston. Brown was the defensive backs coach and McGarigle’s experience is with linebackers, but Northwestern already has a longtime LB coach in Randy Bates.

Keep in mind that Northwestern’s 2018 staff isn’t complete just yet. Come January 9th, a new NCAA rule will take effect, allowing all FBS teams to add a 10th assistant coach to their staff.