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Northwestern defensive coordinator David Brown has been named the school’s interim head coach for the 2023 season, sources tell ESPN.
Brown will serve as an interim coach in the wake of the firing of head coach Pat Fitzgerald amid allegations of fraud in the Northwestern program.
Northwestern University hired Brown to be the school’s defensive coordinator in January, which means he arrived after the hazing investigation had already begun. Brown hails from North Dakota State, where he won FCS Coordinator of the Year in 2021. During his four seasons at North Dakota State, Brown served as coordinator and defensive play connective on two national championship teams.
The Braun’s first task will be maintaining the Northwestern roster, as many players and parents are upset dealing with Fitzgerald’s departure. Northwestern players have a window of approximately four more weeks during which they can transfer without penalty.
At a team meeting earlier this week, Northwestern players expressed to President Michael Schell and Athletic Director Derek Garage their desire to clarify the future of the program and its continuity on the coaching staff.
Brown has been primarily serving as the head coach since Fitzgerald was fired Monday. The players expressed in a squad meeting that his appointment as interim coach would help give them some clarity and continuity they were seeking moving forward.
The Browns arrived at Northwestern on the heels of Northwestern’s 1-11 season in 2022, in which the school fired defensive coordinator Jim O’Neal as part of a personnel shakeup.
This would mark Brown’s first season in FBS football, with stints at NDSU, Northern Iowa, UC Davis, Winona State, and Culver-Stockton.
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