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updated: 10/1/2013 4:27 PM

Why Fitzgerald should stay at NU

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  • Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald celebrates with Tyler Scott after Maine kicker Sean Decloux  missed a field goal during the first quarter of the Sept. 21 game in Evanston.

      Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald celebrates with Tyler Scott after Maine kicker Sean Decloux missed a field goal during the first quarter of the Sept. 21 game in Evanston.
    Associated Press

  • Southern California fired head coach Lane Kiffin after losing to Arizona State 62-41 last Saturday. Kiffin went 28-15 at USC in parts of four seasons, but USC has dropped seven of its last 11 games.

      Southern California fired head coach Lane Kiffin after losing to Arizona State 62-41 last Saturday. Kiffin went 28-15 at USC in parts of four seasons, but USC has dropped seven of its last 11 games.
    Associated Press

 
By Mike North
The Rebel Inside

I read over the weekend about Lane Kiffin not getting it done it as the USC Trojans got their heads handed to them against Arizona State.

In my opinion, Kiffin was given too much too soon. The guy is 38 years old and already has had three head coaching positions.

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First he was with Al Davis in Oakland, who disparaged Kiffin, then he went to the University of Tennessee, where the state police just might arrest him if he drove through because of the way they feel about him. Most recently, he was head coach at USC.

Pete Carroll resurrected USC, but after it ended badly under Carroll, they hired Kiffin, who was in over his head from the beginning. His reign ended at the airport in Los Angeles, where athletic director Pat Haden just couldn't wait till the next day to fire the 28-15 Kiffin.

But all that brings me to Pat Fitzgerald, the head coach of the Northwestern Wildcats. Hired at the age of 31, Fitzgerald was mature beyond his years. He has built the Northwestern program with patience, perseverance and made good choices. He's paid a good salary (reportedly $1.8 million a year) and is a Midwest guy who has the support of everyone at Northwestern including the AD, Jim Phillips.

I'm hearing the Trojans and Haden may have interest in Fitz. I really hope they don't, but if they do Fitzgerald should listen and say thanks, but no thanks.

He is working in his hometown, the program is doing well, Ohio State is coming to town, and they finally won a bowl game last year.

Haden acted like an overzealous fan, embarrassing Kiffin when he launched him at the airport. Couldn't he have waited to talk to him on campus? It tells me Haden, a Rhodes scholar, missed the class on being classy.

Fitzgerald is where he should be, and hopefully he knows that. If he takes a job somewhere else he will be alone, and if he doesn't win the heat will come -- and maybe even at the airport.

Hey Fitz, please stay where you're at for the next 20 years and remember: the grass is greener on the other side until you get to the other side.

Program notes:

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Listen to The Mike North Pregame Show from 10 a.m. to noon Sunday on WIND 560-AM The Answer.

• Mike North's column appears each Tuesday and Friday in the Daily Herald, and his video commentary can be found Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at dailyherald.com. For more, visit northtonorth.com.

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