Northwestern is expected to remove the interim tag from football coach David Braun’s title and keep him in the role permanently, sources briefed on the situation confirmed Wednesday. Here’s what you need to know:
- The Wildcats have gone 5-5 under Braun this season and beaten Big Ten foes Minnesota, Maryland and Wisconsin.
- Northwestern initially hired Braun as its defensive coordinator in January, but he became the interim coach when Pat Fitzgerald was fired in July amid fallout from the university’s investigation into hazing allegations within the football program.
- Braun inherited a team that went 1-11 in 2022, marking the Wildcats’ lowest win total since 1989.
Northwestern began an investigation into hazing within the football program in late 2022 following an anonymous whistleblower’s complaint. On July 7, the school released a vague executive summary and suspended Fitzgerald for two weeks without pay. Following The Daily Northwestern’s publication of allegations the next day and growing public backlash, Northwestern president Michael Schill fired Fitzgerald three days later. The school also fired baseball coach Jim Foster on July 13 over abusive behavior.
Last month, Fitzgerald filed a lawsuit against the university over his firing, alleging he and the school had orally agreed that his suspension would be his only punishment for the hazing allegations. Fitzgerald’s complaint seeks more than $130 million in compensatory damages, along with additional punitive damages.
‘There’s a significance to ritual’: How a hazing culture evolved at Northwestern’s Camp Kenosha
(Photo: David Banks / USA Today)