Not many coaches can win at Northwestern. Heck, you could put some of the nation’s best coaches in Evanston and they’d have a tough time winning the Big Ten West.
But Pat Fitzgerald has done that twice.
Yes, Northwestern has made two Big Ten title games, and yet I still have Fitzgerald on a list of “most overrated” head coaches in the conference. Why? Because he seemingly gets a pass for his sub-.500 seasons that seem to happen every other year. In fact, in eight of his 17 seasons at Northwestern, the Wildcats have finished .500 or worse. That’s not good.
Fitzgerald has had some random good seasons (he’s won 10 games three times) but he has also gone 4-8 or worse four times. Over the past two seasons, he’s a mere 4-20 which makes the 2020 Big Ten West title season seem like an outlier, and Northwestern took advantage of most contenders’ down COVID year.
Fitzgerald is just 65-76 in conference play over his 17-year career and yet we’re supposed to believe he has NFL head coaching potential?