Sources: Pat Fitzgerald staying at NU

Updated: January 6, 2011, 11:20 PM ET
By Adam Rittenberg | ESPN.com

Michigan expressed interest in Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald for its coaching vacancy, but Fitzgerald will remain at his alma mater, sources told ESPN.com on Thursday.

Michigan requested to meet with the coach, but Fitzgerald returned off the road to meet with Northwestern athletic director Jim Phillips, resolidifying his commitment to the school, according to a source close to Fitzgerald.

When asked to comment during the Illinois-Northwestern basketball game on Thursday night in Champaign, Ill., Phillips would only say, "He's staying. That's about it."

Fitzgerald has taken Northwestern to three consecutive bowl appearances and recruits decently in the Midwest, given the school's academic standards. Although Michigan won't be the last program to make a run at Fitzgerald, the 37-year-old is very happy at Northwestern and living in the area where both he and his wife grew up.

Fitzgerald received a seven-year contract extension last year. He has compiled a 34-29 record (18-22 Big Ten) since Northwestern hired him in July 2006 after the sudden death of previous coach Randy Walker.

Adam Rittenberg covers Big Ten football for ESPN.com. He can be reached at espnritt@gmail.com. ESPN.com college football reporter Joe Schad and ESPNChicago.com's Scott Powers contributed to this report.