Northwestern Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald is the recipient of the 2021 Stallings Award. The Stallings Award is awarded annually to an NCAA Division 1 head football coach who is an exceptional humanitarian and coach.
Coach Fitzgerald, a College Football Hall of Fame member, was selected the recipient of The Stallings Award for his steadfast commitment to his players and community over the last 15 seasons as head coach of the Northwestern football program.
Coach Fitzgerald, recently selected as the 2021 AFCA President, is heavily involved with Special Olympics, Northwestern Dance Marathon, Misericordia, Uplifting Athletes, St. Baldrick’s Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research and Catholic Charities of Chicago.
Mack Brown, the first Stallings Award recipient and head football coach of The University of North Carolina said, “I would like to congratulate Pat Fitzgerald on being named the winner of The Gene Stallings Award. Coach Fitzgerald represents everything this award is about. He runs his program in a classy way, puts his players in the best position to win, ensures they graduate and shows them the importance of making an impact on their communities. I am sure Coach Stallings is very proud that someone with the integrity of Pat Fitzgerald is the winner of this years award.”
On the field, Coach Fitzgerald has 106 victories at Northwestern, 22nd most by an active FBS coach and sixth most by an active head coach at the same school. He has led Northwestern University to 10 bowl games and five program bowl wins. Including winning the last four bowl games which is tied for the longest active bowl win streak in the Big Ten. Coach Fitzgerald and his teams have won the Big Ten West two out of the last three years and one of four Big Ten teams to make multiple appearances in the Big Ten Championship game.
Fitzgerald has also been recognized for his commitment to ensuring success in the classroom as well as on the field. His teams have posted the highest graduation success rate in the FBS four consecutive years. Northwestern has also ranked in the top-3 in Academic Progress Rate among FBS programs for 10 consecutive years.
In addition to being selected the 2021 Stallings Award recipient, Coach Fitzgerald has also been named the 2018 Big Ten Coach of the Year and most recently the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year (2020). As a player at Northwestern, Fitzgerald was a two-time Bronko Nagurski Trophy Award winner, two-time Chuck Bednarik Award winner as well as a two-time consensus All-American and Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. Coach Fitzgerald and his wife Stacy will be honored at the annual Stallings Award dinner at the Dallas Country Club (Dallas, Texas). Date to be announced at a later time.
The Stallings Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), which encompasses college football’s most prestigious awards.
For more information visit www.stallingsaward.org.
ABOUT THE STALLINGS AWARD
The Stallings Award is awarded annually to an FBS college head football coach who is an exceptional coach and a humanitarian. Proceeds from The Stallings Award benefit the Ashford Rise School at The Moody Family YMCA. Within the first nine years, The Stallings Award raised more than $2 million garnering attention from major organizations and the media. Recipients of The Stallings Award serve to inspire others to persevere, no matter what the circumstances, through their own personal stories of triumph. Unlike other NCFAA awards, The Stallings Award winner is chosen by former recipients. The process was designed this way to allow fellow coaches, who best understand the work and vision of other head coaches, to determine the most deserving individual.