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Thursday, December 11, 2008
Northwestern's Fitzgerald in elite company


Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

Not too many 34-year-old's can call themselves Hall of Famers, so Pat Fitzgerald is already unique in that way.

But the Northwestern head coach joined extremely select company Tuesday when he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

 
 Albert Dickson/TSN/Icon SMI
 Pat Fitzgerald was National Defensive Player of the Year in 1995 and 1996.

Fitzgerald and South Carolina's Steve Spurrier are the only two active FBS coaches inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. Both obviously entered the Hall as players, Spurrier having won the Heisman Trophy at Florida in 1966 and Fitzgerald earning back-to-back National Defensive Player of the Year awards as a linebacker at Northwestern in 1995 and 1996.

Fitzgerald's new title should come in handy on the recruiting trail. 

Former Iowa quarterback Chuck Long, a 1999 Hall of Fame inductee, held the same distinction as Fitzgerald and Spurrier before being fired as San Diego State's head coach on Nov. 22

Only three people have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as both players and coaches. 

There are two current NFL head coaches -- the 49ers' Mike Singletary and the Rams' Jim Haslett -- who were inducted into the College Hall of Fame as players.