Reports: Northwestern to promote David Braun to full-time head coach


Northwestern is reportedly sticking with David Braun as its football coach.

According to multiple reports, Braun is expected to have his interim tag lifted and be named the Wildcats’ full-time head coach moving forward. Braun became interim coach back in July after longtime Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald was fired amid a hazing scandal in the program.

Braun was hired by Fitzgerald only months earlier to be the Wildcats’ new defensive coordinator after the team went 1-11 in 2022.

With Fitzgerald dismissed ahead of what would have been his 18th season as head coach, Northwestern was expected to be one of the worst teams in the country. In 2021 and 2022, Northwestern went 4-20 overall with a 2-16 record in Big Ten play. Improbably, Braun now has Northwestern on the verge of a bowl berth with two games to play.

The Wildcats are 5-5 overall and 3-4 in Big Ten play entering the final two games of the regular season. Over the last month, Northwestern posted upsets over Maryland and Wisconsin with the 24-10 victory over the Badgers in Madison being the team’s most-recent victory.

The Wildcats will play their home finale on Saturday vs. Purdue and then close out the season at Illinois on Nov. 25. If Northwestern can win one of those games, it will become bowl eligible.

Northwestern interim head coach David Braun, left, celebrates with offensive lineman Dom D’Antonio after wide receiver Bryce Kirtz scored a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Maryland, Saturday, Oct. 28, 2023, in Evanston, Ill. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Before arriving at Northwestern, Braun spent the previous four seasons as the defensive coordinator at North Dakota State, helping the Bison win FCS national titles in 2019 and 2021. In 2021, he was named the FCS Coordinator of the Year.

Before this season, Braun had never coached at the FBS level. Prior to his time at NDSU, Braun was a defensive assistant at Northern Iowa (FCS), UC Davis (FCS), Winona State (Division II) and Culver-Stockton (NAIA).