In April of 2017, it was reported that Northwestern and Pat Fitzgerald had agreed to a lengthy contract extension. Because the university is a private institution, they did not have to release the financial details of the deal at the time.
Because the university dutifully files its taxes, however, those details have emerged.
According to Steve Berkowitz of USA Today, and citing the university’s latest federal tax returns, “Fitzgerald was credited with more than $5.1 million in total compensation for the 2017 calendar year.” Per the report, Fitzgerald received almost $4.1 million in base pay that year, with another $700,000-plus attributed to unspecified “reportable compensation” as well as nearly $310,000 in various bonuses.
The previous year, Fitzgerald earned in the neighborhood of $3.6 million in total compensation.
According to USA Today‘s coaching salary database, Fitzgerald’s 2017 compensation would’ve been 10th amongst all FBS head coaches and third in the Big Ten in 2018 behind the since-retired Urban Meyer ($7.6 million) and Jim Harbaugh ($7.5 million).
The 44-year-old Fitzgerald will be entering his 14th season as the head coach at his alma mater. In the previous 13, he’s guided the Wildcats to a 96-70 record, including a 56-51 mark in Big Ten play.
An All-American linebacker at NU, Fitzgerald has further cemented his legacy in Evanston as his wins, both overall and in the conference, are the most in Wildcats history. Fitzgerald has also guided his teams to nine bowl games; prior to taking over, the program had made six postseason appearances.