Northwestern to keep assistant coaches for 2023

After firing head coach Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern will retain the rest of its football coaching staff, the school told multiple media outlets Tuesday.

Northwestern did not name an interim head coach Monday when announcing Fitzgerald would not return. Defensive coordinator David Braun, however, is filling in as a “liaison” and could be elevated to interim coach, reports said.

Braun was hired in January after working as the defensive coordinator at FCS powerhouse North Dakota State from 2019-22.

Athletic director Derrick Gragg returned to campus Tuesday to address the football team in person. Gragg had been out of the country on vacation and held a Zoom call Monday night to reveal the Fitzgerald decision without taking questions from players.

University president Michael Schill did not attend that meeting, leading some players to tell ESPN and Rivals that they felt the administration’s handling of the matter was “cowardly” and disrespectful.

Fitzgerald, head coach at Northwestern since 2006, was fired on Monday with $42 million remaining on his contract. That decision came three days after the original discipline for Fitzgerald was a two-week suspension without pay, all stemming from an independent investigation that found hazing allegations were “largely supported by evidence.”

A player came forward to the student newspaper, the Daily Northwestern, and revealed that the hazing allegedly included coerced sexual acts. Fitzgerald was also accused of presiding over a “culture of enabling racism.”

–Field Level Media