Northwestern signs Chris Collins, Pat Fitzgerald to long-term deals

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CHICAGO - Pat Fitzgerald and Chris Collins are so similar their athletic director, Jim Phillips, had to reach for music tastes and baseball team allegiance when asked how his most prominent head coaches differ.

Collins joked that he was better looking while Fitzgerald responded, "Do you know where the weight room is?"

Friendly jabs from two coaches who both grew up in Chicago and are just eight months apart in age.

Now, they're linked together again after signing duel contract extensions that will ideally keep them in Evanston for the next decade.

Fitz is entering his 12th season at the helm of the Wildcats football team, coming off back to back bowl bids.

His new deal goes through 2026.

Collins' extension goes through 2025.

Even though the former Glenbrook North standout has only been with Northwestern for four years, he's already made history, leading the Cats to their first ever NCAA tournament appearance.

Fitzgerald noted the two homegrown coaches are "owners not renters," firmly planting their roots in a school they've helped build to new heights, athletically.