What was all but official in the immediate aftermath of the Holiday Bowl is now confirmed, according to multiple sources: Pat Fitzgerald has reportedly turned down interviews from three NFL teams, including the Packers, to remain at Northwestern.
The Chicago Tribune’s Teddy Greenstein first reported the story.
Fitzgerald had been linked with the Packers since Green Bay fired head Coach Mike McCarthy, though the Northwestern head coach made clear after the Holiday Bowl that he isn’t going anywhere any time soon.
“Hashtag Go ‘Cats, man. I’m not going anywhere. This is home forever,” Fitzgerald said Monday after his team’s 31-20 win over Utah.
Also of note in Greenstein’s story: Fitzgerald’s annual salary is $4.5 million, which is higher than previously reported. According to USA TODAY, that would make Fitzgerald the 18th-highest paid college head coach in the country, and the seventh-highest paid coach in the Big Ten.
According to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, Fitzgerald has drawn interest from NFL teams for years, but has repeatedly elected to stay in Evanston.
Texted with agent Bryan Harlan, who said Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald's had multiple NFL inquiries annually for a while now. I remember hearing his name as an NFL candidate as far back as 2011. Keeps saying no.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) January 3, 2019
At Northwestern, Fitzgerald has as secure a job as you can probably get, and he’s coaching at his alma mater. Northwestern won a division title this season for the first time since the divisions system began in the Big Ten in 2011, and the Wildcats just won their third bowl game in as many years.