With more about to come open, one of the more attractive head coaching openings at the NFL level is with the Green Bay Packers.
While interim head coach Joe Philbin is widely expected to interview for the job, along with 10-12 other candidates involved in a "wide ranging search," per Ian Rapoport, there is an intriguing college coach's name circulating as well.
According to the latest report coming from Rapoport (see below), the Packers are interested in interviewing at least one college head coach - Northwestern's Pat Fitzgerald.
Fitz, who grew up on the South side of Chicago, is an unabashed and passionate fan of his Windy City teams, has spent his entire coaching career at the college level, and has been a part of the Northwestern staff dating back to 2001. In 2006, following the unexpected death of head coach Randy Walker, Fitz was promoted to head coach and has built Northwestern into a Big Ten title contender.
The athletic director that promoted Fitz to the head coaching spot back in '06 was Mark Murphy, who is now serves as the Packers CEO and president.
Since taking over, Fitz has went 95-70 leading the program, including three ten-win seasons in that span. This past season, Fitz helped to engineer wins against ranked Michigan State and Wisconsin teams, and battled undefeated Notre Dame to a close 10 point loss.
Their 8-1 mark in Big Ten play led to the program's first Big Ten West title, and appearance in the Big Ten Title game, where they lost to Ohio State. The success of 2018 led to Fitzgerald being unanimously voted the Big Ten Coach of the Year.
Fitz's love for his alma mater and the program and momentum he's built in Evanston, coupled with his love for Chicago and loyalty to his staff will make Northwestern a really difficult place to leave, but the opportunity at a franchise like Green Bay, rich in tradition and not too far away from the Windy City would present a tough opportunity to turn down if offered. We're a theoretical long way from "offered"; but will be something to keep an eye on.
Fitz will lead Northwestern against Utah (9-4) tomorrow in the San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl.
Stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.