According to Jason La Canfora, if the Bears are looking for a new head coach this offseason, Northwestern HC Pat Fitzgerald is expected to be “at the top of their wish list.”
La Canfora notes ownership is frustrated with the current leadership trio of team president Ted Phillips, GM Ryan Pace and HC Matt Nagy and no one’s job is safe if they can’t turn things around to end the season. The Bears are 5-6 after a 5-1 start.
If Chicago ends up making a move, La Canfora highlights Fitzgerald, who has coached locally at Northwestern for a long time, as someone a number of people are enamored with.
Fitzgerald has had NFL interest before but he’s always rebuffed teams to stay at home in Evanstown. The Packers made a run at hiring Fitzgerald two years ago but he withdrew from the process after just a brief time.
If Fitzgerald is going to make the leap to the NFL, the Bears might have the best chance of any team at luring him given their close proximity.
Fitzgerald, 46, was hired as a defensive backs coach for Northwestern back in 2001 and he eventually worked his way up to head coach in 2006. During his 13 years as the Wildcats’ head coach, Fitzgerald has led the team to a record of 104-80 (56.5 percent), which includes eight bowl game appearances.