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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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Football: David Braun named Northwestern’s permanent head coach

Angeli Mittal/Daily Senior Staffer
David Braun claps while amped up on the sideline against Wisconsin. Northwestern named Braun the football team’s permanent head coach Wednesday.

Time to scratch the “interim” tag.

Northwestern has named David Braun its permanent head coach, the University announced Wednesday.

“I have had the opportunity to sit down with Coach Braun in recent months, meetings that reaffirmed what I saw on the field and heard from people close to the program — that Dave’s values are Northwestern’s values,” University President Michael Schill said in a news release. “I couldn’t be happier that he will permanently lead our student-athletes on the gridiron.” 

Initially hired as the program’s newest defensive coordinator in January, Braun’s promotion comes just days after the Wildcats’ dominant 24-10 win over Wisconsin — NU’s first away victory since its triumph over Nebraska in August of 2022. Under Braun’s leadership, NU has won more games this season (5) than in the last two campaigns combined (4).

Braun made history with Saturday’s victory, becoming the first first-year head coach in program history to win five or more games since Walter McCornack in 1903. 

Following Saturday’s win, public calls for Braun’s promotion grew louder as NU players flooded social media with a “RemoveTheTag” hashtag in support of a permanent status for their head coach. Sixth-year quarterback Ben Bryant, one of the players that posted a tweet on X, formerly Twitter, with the hashtag, said he and teammates have been talking about it since Braun was tabbed as the interim head coach.

“Coach Braun has done such a good job of stepping into a really tough situation and we’ve rallied around him,” Bryant said. “We want him to be our next head coach and he deserves the right to be named head coach and not just the interim anymore.”

In reaction to his team’s support and tweets, Braun conveyed his gratitude and love for the team.

“This is a group that continues to just pull together and I take that as a sign of, I must be doing something right from a standpoint that they feel like they got a head coach that they believe in,” Braun said. 

The move comes 126 days after Braun was tapped as the interim head coach just three days after former head coach Pat Fitzgerald was terminated in July. Before joining the staff in January, Braun was the defensive coordinator at North Dakota State from 2018 to 2022, where he was FCS Defensive Coordinator of the Year in 2021. 

With two games left on the regular season schedule, Braun and the ‘Cats will welcome in Purdue in hopes of reaching bowl eligibility for the first time since the 2020 season. 

“I am truly honored for the opportunity to continue leading Northwestern’s football program,” Braun said in a news release. “Over the past five months, having the chance to lead this group has been the opportunity of a lifetime. Moving forward, my mission is to build on this positive momentum, aiming to create one of the best experiences in college football for our student-athletes.”

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