Pat Fitzgerald Named Dodd Trophy Coach of the Week
Northwestern Head Coach honored for success on the field and in the classroom and community.
ATLANTA (September 9, 2015) – Officials from the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation and Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl today announced that Northwestern Head Football Coach Pat Fitzgerald has been selected as The Dodd Trophy Coach of the Week.
The Dodd Coach of the Week Award honors the football coach whose program embodies the award’s three pillars of scholarship, leadership and integrity, while also having success on the playing field during the previous week.
“Coach Fitzgerald consistently reinforces the importance of focus in the classroom and dedication to the community while also pushing his players to perform on the field,” said Jim Terry, Chairman of the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation. “We’re proud to recognize his leadership and look forward to seeing his continued success this season.”
Off the field, Northwestern football players personify the term ‘student-athlete.’ Under Fitzgerald’s leadership, the Wildcats placed a record 38 players on the Academic All-Big Ten team en route to posting a remarkable 3.05 team GPA for the 2014 academic year. Additionally, the program ranked second among all FBS programs in the Academic Progress Rating (APR) with a score of 992 out of a possible 1,000.
Fitzgerald also goes to great lengths to make a difference in the community. Along with his players and family, he supports countless charitable events impacting the Northwestern and Evanston, Ill. communities, including Northwestern Dance Marathon, Special Olympics, and weekly visits to locals schools and children’s hospitals.
Northwestern kicked off its season Saturday afternoon with a 16-6 victory over No. 21 Stanford, marking the Wildcats’ first win over the Cardinal since 1958 and their first season-opening win over a ranked opponent since 1995.
The annual Dodd Trophy – along with the Dodd Trophy Coach of the Week Award – celebrates the head coach of a team that enjoys success on the gridiron, while also stressing the importance of scholarship, leadership and integrity.
The winner of the 2015 Dodd Trophy will be announced in Atlanta during Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Week. A panel consisting of all previous winners, national media, a member of the Dodd family and a College Football Hall of Fame member will identify the final list of potential recipients at the conclusion of the 2015 season.
ABOUT THE DODD TROPHY
The Dodd Trophy was established in 1976 to honor the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division 1A) head football coach whose program represents the highest ideals on and off the field. The award honors the coach of a team which enjoys a successful football season, while also stressing the importance of academic excellence and character, as did Coach Dodd’s teams during his 22 years as head football coach of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Coach Dodd remains one of college football’s legendary figures, both as a coach and a player. Coach Dodd was a native of Galax, Virginia, and played his college ball at the University of Tennessee where his team had 27 wins, one loss and two ties during the three years he played. Coach Dodd was selected to the National College Football Hall of Fame both as a coach and as a player. More information about The Dodd Trophy is available at TheDoddTrophy.com.
ABOUT THE CHICK-FIL-A PEACH BOWL
The Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl is the ninth-oldest bowl game in the country and is one of New Year’s Six Bowls selected to host the College Football Playoff. In 2014 and 2015, the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl will host games of top nationally ranked teams as assigned by the College Football Playoff Selection Committee. In 2016, the Bowl will host its first Playoff Semifinal (#1 vs. #4 or #2 vs. #3). The Bowl has sold out 18 of the last 20 years and has earned a reputation as one of the most competitive bowls in the country, with 55% of its games being decided by a touchdown or less. The Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl has disbursed more than $137 million in team payouts over its 47-year history and has increased team payout every year since 1996. The Bowl also leads all other bowl games in charitable and scholarship contributions, giving more than $17.5 million to organizations in need since 2002. More information about the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and its events is available at Chick-fil-APeachBowl.com.