Skip to main content

Pat Fitzgerald explains how recruiting is like dating


Pat Fitzgerald is as black and white as it gets, especially when it comes to recruiting.

When it comes to verbal commitments there are two camps among staffs; some coaches believe that kids should go out and visit schools after making a verbal to help further solidify things in their minds, while others (and this is where coach Fitz falls) subscribe to the idea that once a recruit has give a verbal commitment, they're as good as signed and should be done visiting other questions asked.

Upon losing the commitment of two four-star recruits (who happen to be twins), Fitz explained to the media that recruiting is a lot like dating where a commitment means everything.

“It is made crystal clear when I start a relationship with recruits. This is how we do it. I won’t pressure you. If you want to be a Wildcat, I only want you if you’re 100 percent sure. I don’t just tell it to the kids on a ‘DM’ (direct message) on Twitter. I look at them eye-to-eye, it’s in my office, it’s with a parent or their champion (most influential family member). Their high school coaches know it. So don’t commit till you’re ready. I’m not changing what we do.”

“If we make a commitment, we’re engaged. If you want to date somebody else, we’re no longer engaged and there is no more getting married. Like it or not, that is how we will do business.” Fitz told the Chicago Tribune.

Then Fitz told the fan base to brace themselves for more decommitments, because him and his staff are focused on building a culture with the right guys who WANT to be in Evanston, and he's not wavering.

“With this accelerated recruiting, our fans better get ready for more decommitments. I don’t want to coach guys who don’t want to be at Northwestern. Our staff doesn’t want to coach guys and, most importantly, our players don’t want those kinds of guys on our team. They want guys who want to be part of our culture."

In my personal opinion (and I know a lot of coaches will disagree), I think that's a great analogy. Losing two four star kids in one class is going to hurt, but props to Fitz for sticking to his guns and continuing to build the program his way.

Read the full piece here.