The momentum building between the Green Bay Packers and Pat Fitzgerald is reportedly taking another step forward in the coming days. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Packers are planning to formally request an interview with Fitzgerald for the team’s vacant head coach position.
Fitzgerald, the head coach for Northwestern University, has grown to become one of the favorites for the Packers job. He has a strong connection with Packers president Mark Murphy, who hired Fitzgerald at Northwestern in 2006 when serving as the university’s athletic director. The Packers hired Murphy in 2007.
According to Schefter’s report, the Packers will submit the request following Northwestern’s bowl game on Monday. The #22 Wildcats play the #17 Utah Utes in the Holiday Bowl on Monday evening.
This report comes on the heels of Ian Rapoport’s comments on Saturday, which indicate that Fitzgerald is one of the leading candidates for the job. Packers beat writer Tom Silverstein also notes that general manager Brian Gutekunst has admired Fitzgerald for his work at Northwestern as well, going back to Gutekunst’s days as a scout.
Fitzgerald, 44, played at Northwestern in the mid-1990s, so it appears that it would be difficult to pry him away from his alma mater. Both he and Northwestern’s athletic department could decline the interview opportunity. However, the Murphy connection and the opportunity to stay close to home may be enough to at least get him to talk to the team in earnest about the job.