Pat Fitzgerald has been connected to yet another job, this one with the Carolina Panthers.
According to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com, “[t]he… Panthers reached out to Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald about their vacancy” recently. However, Fitzgerald opted to not formally interview for the opening.
That said, the rumors connecting the long-time head coach at his alma mater to the NFL won’t be going away anytime soon. From La Canfora’s report:
There is a strong sense among NFL executives that if Fitzgerald ever did leave Northwestern, it would be for the Chicago Bears job. He may well end up as a lifer with the Wildcats, but the Illinois native has been linked to the Bears in the past, and Matt Nagy will enter 2020 on the proverbial hot seat after his offense, quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and the entire Bears team regressed significantly this season after reaching the playoffs in 2018.
The report comes weeks after the Wildcats finished 3-9, the worst record in Fitzgerald’s 14 years with the program. In the previous 13, he guided NU 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 (99) and in the conference (57), 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.