Brett McMurphy, College football reporter 603d

Pat Fitzgerald, Chris Collins get extensions from Northwestern

College Football, Men's College Basketball, Northwestern Wildcats, Northwestern Wildcats

Northwestern is rewarding its coaches after successful seasons both on the field and on the court, the school announced Tuesday.

Football coach Pat Fitzgerald has signed a contract extension, keeping him with the Wildcats through the 2026 season.

Chris Collins, coach of the school's men's basketball team, has signed an extension that will run through the 2025 season.

"At Northwestern we place a premium on 'institutional fit', and we have assuredly found leaders for our football and men's basketball programs that fit this university and our mission to deliver a world-class experience to our student-athletes," school vice president Jim Phillips said in a statement.

"We are distinct in having head coaches for our two anchor programs who are homegrown. Pat Fitzgerald grew up on the city's southwest side. Chris Collins attended high school less than 10 miles from Welsh-Ryan Arena. They not only understand this area, they are intimately linked to it, now for many years to come."

Fitzgerald, the winningest football coach in school history, is 77-62 at Northwestern in 11 years, including a 17-9 record and consecutive bowl trips the past two seasons. A Northwestern graduate, he has guided the Wildcats to seven bowl bids in his past nine seasons.

"This is home for me and my family, and I love this university," Fitzgerald said. "I'm extremely privileged to coach the exceptional young men we invite here to earn the best education in college football and compete at the highest level in the Big Ten Conference. The best is yet to come, and we're excited for the future."

Collins, himself an Illinois native, this year led his team to the school's first NCAA tournament appearance and a first-round win over Vanderbilt.

"I have absolutely loved coaching here, the support that we've received from the university, its leadership and our fans has been exceptional," Collins said. "... We can't wait to continue building on the foundation established over the last four seasons."

In four years with the Wildcats, Collins has amassed a 73-60 mark.

Information from ESPN's Jeff Goodman and Andy Katz contributed to this report.

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