David Braun officially named interim head coach at Northwestern


Northwestern made official the promotion of first-year defensive coordinator David Braun to interim head coach on Friday.

He replaces Pat Fitzgerald, who was fired Monday with $42 million remaining on his contract after university officials concluded an independent investigation that found hazing allegations within the program were “largely supported by evidence.”

Braun, who has no head coaching experience and is new to the FBS level, was promoted for the 2023 season.

“The opportunity to lead this team at this crucial moment in its history is not something I take lightly, and I’m grateful for the trust placed in me by (athletic director Derrick) Gragg and Northwestern leadership,” Braun said in a news release. “Our focus today and every day moving forward is on supporting these men, many of whom have only been on campus for several weeks, in their preparation for the 2023 football season and the 2023-24 academic year.”

Braun was hired in January after working as the defensive coordinator at FCS powerhouse North Dakota State from 2019-22. The Bison won two FCS national championships (2019, 2021) and two Missouri Valley Football Conference crowns in his first three seasons, and they boasted the country’s No. 1 scoring defense both title years.

A graduate of Winona State graduate and a former defensive lineman there, Braun also was an assistant coach at NAIA program Culver-Stockton (2010), Division II Winona State (2011-14) and FCS program UC Davis (2015-16). He spent two seasons at Northern Iowa before accepting the position at North Dakota State.

Braun will make his coaching debut Sept. 3 at Rutgers.

The Wildcats are coming off a 1-11 season in 2022, following a 3-9 campaign in 2021.

–Field Level Media

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