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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Football: Northwestern relieves associate head coach (defensive backs) Matt McPherson of duties

Redshirt+senior+defensive+back+Coco+Azema+returns+a+kickoff+along+the+sideline+against+Maryland.
Daily file photo by Henry Frieman
Redshirt senior defensive back Coco Azema returns a kickoff along the sideline against Maryland.

In perhaps the final shakeup to Northwestern’s past coaching staff ahead of the 2024 season, head coach David Braun has relieved associate head coach (defensive backs) Matt MacPherson of his duties, The Inside Zone’s Matt Fortuna reported Thursday.

MacPherson spent the past 18 seasons on the Wildcats’ staff, serving in a bevy of roles on both sides of the ball. Ramon Diaz and an unnamed source told USA Today’s Josh Peter in July that MacPherson allegedly witnessed players doing naked pull-ups and engaging in other forms of hazing.

An Ohio native, MacPherson played linebacker at DePauw, where he was named a two-time all-conference linebacker. After graduating in 1999, MacPherson remained at his alma mater and served as a graduate assistant and recruiting coordinator — while coaching running backs and serving as the junior varsity offensive coordinator.

He then served as a graduate assistant at NU from 2000 to 2002, coaching defensive backs and linebackers. MacPherson served as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Kenyon, before he accepted a safeties coaching position at Eastern Michigan under then-head coach Jeff Genyk.

Following two seasons in Ypsilanti, Michigan, MacPherson returned to Evanston as former head coach Pat Fitzgerald’s running backs coach. MacPherson served in the role for 12 seasons, before he was promoted to associate head coach in charge of defensive backs prior to the 2018 season.

With MacPherson’s firing, the ‘Cats return just one position coach tenured beyond 2023 in defensive coordinator Tim McGarigle.

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