Report: David Braun expected to be named Northwestern head coach

On3 imageby:Nick Kosko11/15/23

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Northwestern is expected to name David Braun the team’s permanent head coach, according to ESPN’s Pete Thamel.

“Sources: Northwestern is expected to hire interim coach David Braun as the school’s permanent head coach,” Thamel wrote on Twitter. “Braun has Northwestern at 5-5 after a 1-11 season last year.”

Braun took over this summer for longtime head coach Pat Fitzgerald, who was fired amid a hazing scandal within the program.

It’s been a rollercoaster year for Northwestern, which is actually on the verge of the postseason. After losing the opener to Rutgers on the road, the Wildcats then won and lost every game afterwards.

It’s a back and forth way to get to 5-5, but Braun led Northwestern to a win over Wisconsin in Madison this past weekend and take on Purdue and Illinois to end the season.

Back in the summer, during Big Ten Media Days, Braun faced reporters from all over the conference and had to answer questions about his unenviable position.

“I never could have imagined nor did I desire to become a head coach under these types of circumstances,” Braun said. “That said, I’m honored to lead this group moving forward … I dreamt of playing in the Big Ten. That never became a reality. But an opportunity to work in the Big Ten, coach in the Big Ten and coach and mentor these young men is something that I don’t take lightly.”

Braun joined the Northwestern program ahead of the 2023 season as the team’s defensive coordinator. Prior to that, he spend four seasons at North Dakota State in the same role and helped the program win two FCS National Championships.

A defensive mind, Braun took that same mentality to Northwestern. he just had to do it as its new head coach.

“And it’s not going to just be our defense,” Braun said in the summer. “It won’t just be our offense. It’s going to require complimentary football that puts us into situations to win in the fourth quarter. Again, let me be clear, through all these one-on-one meetings, seeing our team the last two weeks. I firmly believe that this group has a demeanor, has a brotherhood and has a resolve. That there’s reasons to be very excited about the story that they will write this fall.

Northwestern takes on Purdue at home at 12:00 p.m ET Saturday. The Wildcats need one more win to become bowl eligible.