Northwestern's Pat Fitzgerald Can't Hide Emotions

By Will Wilson

Head coach Pat Fitzgerald of Northwestern more often than not can be seen jumping around on the Wildcat sidelines during Saturdays. His high-energy coaching style ignites his team to respond on the field and is one of many reasons players love playing for him.

Saturday, against Michigan, Fitzgerald looked like he had won the Super Bowl after a personal-foul penalty on the Wolverines Brennen Beyer during the fourth quarter. Fitz started jumping up and down after the penalty gave Northwestern a first down in Michigan territory down 28-24.

“I’m a really good knucklehead. I pride myself in that.”

Okay, so at least Fitz knows he gets a little wild on the sideline. That’s how every coach in college football should be. Most of these coaches in college football take themselves too seriously. Sometimes, even their egos get in the way of making the right coaching call.

Of course there’s the other end of the argument, though. Some will say Fitzgerald’s emotion is what causes his team to allow opponents to come back in the 4th quarter, that his players lack the mental toughness to close out games.

Critics may be right about that. Northwestern has to wonder “what if” everyday about this season. They blew leads in every game they lost and would be in the driver seat to head to Indianapolis if they closed those games out.

Regardless of the losses, Fitzgerald is Northwestern football thick and thin. His passion for his players and school go unquestioned.

He wears his emotions on his sleeve and isn’t afraid to show it.


Will Wilson is a writer for Rant Sports covering College Football and the Big Ten Conference.

Follow Will on Twitter: @GoPackGo1

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