Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Price: It’s time to drop the ‘interim’ tag from interim head coach David Braun’s title

Seeger Gray/Daily Senior Staffer
Interim head coach David Braun turns Big Ten Network reporter during post-game interview after Northwestern’s win over Minnesota last Saturday.

The ‘interim’ in Northwestern football head coach David Braun’s title is an interesting one.

Of course, the program and the players don’t give it the time of day — that’s their head coach, point blank, period.

For outsiders, though, the seven-letter word sticks out like a sore thumb. When you look up Braun on Google or the Northwestern Athletics webpage, “interim” is glued to the next two words following it. Shoot, most Daily Northwestern stories that include Braun state ‘interim head coach’ when he’s first mentioned.

The word is the definition of a placeholder. It’s the idea of something being temporary. Good, but not good enough.

But after NU’s 37-34 win over Minnesota on Saturday, it’s time to drop the ‘interim’ tag.

I know it’s easiest to make this claim after the program’s most intense win since 2020. After a win like that, everything feels different — the air smells better, the music hits harder and haters’ voices begin to simmer out.

However, the ‘Cats comeback revealed the strong impact Braun has on the team. It showed how his passion and fire, which he’s talked about in multiple press conferences, has rubbed off on his players. After Saturday’s win, Braun noted that he wanted to let his ‘intense, competitive spirit’ loose following the Duke loss.

The team embodied that seven days later.

And most athletes are expected to have a fire that burns inside them before entering college — a type of adrenaline and motor that’s been churning nearly all their lives. But it’s even more important for a head coach to be able to harness all of these emotions in a time of need like Saturday. The team needs a leader at the helm that they trust in a tight game to guide them in the right direction, or one they’re willing to fight for in overtime.

Braun has been that.

When he was appointed to his current role, there was no blueprint for success. If anything, it was already ripped up and shredded.

The entire world — even people without a lick of football knowledge — was peering down on the disarrayed program. And not to mention, he inherited a team that won one game in 2022 and was expected to attend Big Ten Media Days in less than two weeks after the promotion.

Now, NU is .500 four games into the season and seemingly more motivated than ever.

Of course, there’s a world where the ‘Cats don’t win another game this season (well, at least one more with Howard on Oct. 7). Nonetheless, Braun should be rewarded, at least based on the ‘Cats small sample size. He’s the face of the program’s future.

While dishing out credit, Braun loves to highlight everyone else around him, whether it’s his players, coaching staff, support staff or even his family. And that makes sense, his team wouldn’t be 2-2 without those groups. This topic wouldn’t be discussed without them.

However, it’s time for him to accept his own flowers.

I don’t know if Athletics Director Dr. Derrick Gragg and Braun have already had initial conversations about this topic, but if not, they should.

So, in a cliche way, the ball is in your court, Dr. Gragg.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @LPIII_TRES

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