Pat Fitzgerald, Chris Collins to receive contract extensions, according to reports


Daily file photo by Katie Pach

Men’s basketball coach Chris Collins observes the court during an NCAA Tournament game. Collins and football coach Pat Fitzgerald received contract extensions on Monday, according to reports.

Cole Paxton, Sports Editor

Football coach Pat Fitzgerald and men’s basketball coach Chris Collins have received contract extensions, according to ESPN reports published Monday.

Fitzgerald received a 10-year extension, according to ESPN’s Brett McMurphy. Collins earned a “lengthy” extension, according to a separate report from ESPN’s Jeff Goodman. The Chicago Tribune later reported that the extension runs through 2025.

Athletic department spokesman Paul Kennedy declined to comment for this story, though he said a previously unannounced news conference had been scheduled for 1 p.m. Tuesday.

Fitzgerald, 42 and a former NU linebacker, has led the Wildcats since 2005. He has compiled a 77-61 overall record in 11 seasons, and completed a 7-6 season in 2016 with a win over Pittsburgh in the Pinstripe Bowl.

After being promoted from an assistant coach following the death of then-coach Randy Walker, Fitzgerald has led NU to seven bowl appearances. Generally considered the best coach in program history, Fitzgerald has coached the Cats to two of their three 10-win seasons.

Fitzgerald was considered a candidate for the head coaching job at Michigan in 2011, but later signed a 10-year extension with NU that extended his contract through 2020. He earned roughly $3.3 million in 2016, according to figures released by USA Today.

Collins, 43, guided the Cats to their first ever NCAA Tournament appearance in March. In four seasons at the helm of the program, he has compiled a 73-60 record.

He earned national praise for his work last season, ending NU’s 79-year quest to finally play in the tournament. Collins, a former Duke assistant, led the Cats to a then-school record 20 wins two seasons ago, then reset that mark with a 24-12 record that included a win over Vanderbilt in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

He previously signed a contract extension in 2015 after reportedly agreeing to a seven-year deal in 2013. His current salary is slightly more than $1.3 million, according to USA Today.

Correction: A previous version of this story misstated the length of Northwestern’s quest to make its first NCAA Tournament. It was a 79-year quest. The Daily regrets the error.

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