Lions Reportedly Interested in Interviewing Top Big Ten Coach

Pat Fitzgerald

Getty Pat Fitzgerald coaching during the Citrus Bowl.

The Detroit Lions have been conducting interviews for their next boss, and there hasn’t been a new name entering the mix since early last week. That could all be set to change in the coming days with a new entrant into the mix.

According to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, the Lions might choose to look at Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald for their opening. Wilson made the claim while speaking on The A Team, a podcast.

Here’s a clip of his claim:

If the Lions are indeed interested in Fitzgerald, this would be the first hint that is indeed the case given out about his possible candidacy with the team. Thus far, the Lions have not seen a big name college coach enter the mix, and the rumor was the team could choose to hire from the list of names that have already interviewed or will interview in the coming days.

Detroit could look at a college coach soon before their process finishes, and rumors maintained they could look at Urban Meyer. Even though that was said to be the case, Meyer has been more connected to Jacksonville and could end up landing there when all is said and done. The New York Jets could have eyes for Matt Campbell, who could be an intriguing name for the Lions to speak with as well if they desire.

Fitzgerald hasn’t taken NFL interviews before, but the word is he would be open to it this year. Many have maintained that the Illinois native would only take a job coaching the Chicago Bears, but if the Lions asked for an interview, it would be intriguing to see if he responded. According to some, that might soon happen.

Lions Coaching Search Update

Detroit has seen their search start out early on in interesting fashion, and names like Eric Bieniemy, Arthur Smith, Robert Saleh, Marvin Lewis and Dan Campbell are a solid start for the team in terms of getting folks in the mix. Out of the bunch, Lewis and Campbell are the only one with previous head coaching experience from their time in Cincinnati and Miami respectively.

Saleh has been seen as a potential leader in the clubhouse for the Lions, but there are conflicting reports on how well he interviewed with the team. Some say the process went well, while Wilson maintained in his update above that was not the case. Regardless, the team is clearly going to keep an open mind for their next boss as this comprehensive search shows. Adding a few college coaches like Fitzgerald to the mix could be solid due diligence for the team.

Pat Fitzgerald’s Career Biography

If the Lions are looking for experience in terms of leading and creating a winning program, Fitzgerald could be an interesting fit for the team. At 46 year old, Fitzgerald is still very young given the fast start he had to his career back in 2006 with the Wildcats. After a successful career at Northwestern at linebacker, Fitzgerald got into coaching and has been a force since he started in the Big Ten. A 106-81 record and a 5-5 bowl record at Northwestern is impressive, as is two appearances in the Big Ten Title Game.

Would Fitzgerald be a fit in the pros? It’s possible considering the motivation and excitement he could bring to a team. Whether or not that fit is in Detroit remains to be seen, but some see the possibility as on the table.

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