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Pat Fitzgerald, NU nearing extension

Updated: January 14, 2011, 8:08 PM ET
By Scott Powers | ESPNChicago.com

Northwestern football coach Pat Fitzgerald and athletic director Jim Phillips have tentatively agreed on a contract extension that will keep the 36-year-old Fitzgerald with the Wildcats into his 40s and possibly beyond.

"I don't want to get into specifics, but it's eight or more years," Phillips confirmed on Friday. "It's as important of an assignment as I have as director of athletics at Northwestern. Football is the engine that drives us. It drives us emotionally and drives us financially. ...

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