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Fitz: "I'm going to get fired as a coach before I get fired as a dad or a husband."

PatFitzgerald

We've been consistent on this site in saying that there are things in life more important than football, and family is at the top of that list. It's about having the proper perspective on life, and few have a better perspective on life than Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald.

In an interview with WGN Radio in Chicago, Fitzgerald touched on balancing family and football.

"It's a challenge," he said. "It takes a very special, special wife, and my wife Stacy is amazing. She's very independent. I think she should get a C.O. or whatever license to be able to drive the bus that she has to drive with all these kids going to sporting events. I'm just very thankful she and the boys allow me to be a mentor and a person that develops young men with 112 other guys. It's kind of crazy, you feel like you've got 115 kids."

While many coaches from previous generations treated football and family like the government treats church and state, Fitz's generation sees it differently.

"We have a blast. It's a great family profession. It starts with leadership in our athletic department. (Athletics director) Jim Phillips allows us to have balance as coaches. I really think that's important. I'm going to get fired as a coach before I get fired as a dad or a husband. I think the previous generation in my profession did not break that way, and Coach (Gary) Barnett and Coach (Gary) Walker were definitely family men. I think I was raised the right way in this profession."

With five bowl trips (and counting) since 2008, Fitzgerald isn't in danger of being fired by Northwestern any time soon. And it's safe to say he's signed a lifetime contract with his wife and three sons as well.