Pat Fitzgerald Seeks Justice: Sues Northwestern For $130 Million, Claims Wrongful Termination

Former Northwestern football coach Pat Fitzgerald was fired right before the start of the football season – but he’s not going silently into the night. 

Fitzgerald has filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against the university, seeking $130 million in damages, along with additional compensation for “infliction of emotional distress,” future lost income, and punitive damages, according to his attorneys, Dan Webb and Matthew Carter.

Fitzgerald, who was abruptly fired in July by Northwestern amid allegations of hazing within the Wildcats football program, has vehemently denied any wrongdoing.

The university initially suspended him for two weeks without pay but later terminated his employment after two former players disclosed details of alleged hazing activities during an interview with The Daily Northwestern.

This led to multiple lawsuits on behalf of former players against Fitzgerald and the university.

“If there was ever an athletic coach at Northwestern University that should not have been terminated, it’s Coach Fitzgerald,” said Dan Webb during a press conference on Thursday, emphasizing Fitzgerald’s contributions to the university.

Webb maintained that Northwestern had insufficient evidence to prove that Fitzgerald was knowledgeable about the alleged hazing activity and argued that the coach was unfairly dismissed.

The 48-year-old Fitzgerald had an illustrious 17-year career at Northwestern, making him one of the longest-tenured coaches in the country before his dismissal.

During his tenure, the Wildcats achieved a record of 110-101, but the program struggled in his final two years, with Northwestern finishing 3-9 in 2021 and winning only one game in 2022.

Regardless, Fitzgerald was one of the most respected coaches in all of college football. 

The allegations of hazing that emerged within the program cast a shadow over Fitzgerald’s legacy at the university, as well as the reputation of Northwestern’s football program.

Most of his players, both past and current, have defended him and stand by his side. 

There’s clearly a whole lot more to come from this story.

What is your take on the situation?

Did Fitzgerald get screwed?