If you're reading this, you know how hard it is to get a job in football -- much less to get your foot in the door to the Big Ten. Thus, many job hunters have to get their start by taking a job that isn't really a job, because a job gives you money in return for your labor.
Plenty of careers have started with volunteer work, and on Thursday Northwestern director of football operations and strategy Cody Cejda shared a list of 17 former volunteers that moved into full-time work within the football world. Dating back to Pat Fitzgerald's second season as head coach, five Northwestern volunteers have become NFL scouts, five have become coaches or quality control analysts, two have become player personnel directors and two more (including Cejda himself) became DFOs.
Here is the full list, provided by Cejda.
Fitzgerald's staff is the most continuous in major college football. Every one of his 10 assistant coaches has a long-standing relationship with the school; eight have coached with the Wildcats for at least seven seasons (and seven of those eight have passed the decade mark), and the other two are Northwestern alums. And that doesn't count Fitzgerald himself, a former Wildcat linebacker and assistant coach before embarking on what is now the seventh-longest active head coaching tenure.
So if you're looking for a job on the Northwestern coaching staff, it's probably not going to happen. But if a volunteering opportunity comes up, you should take it if you can.