Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald officially inked a new 10-year deal to remain as the program’s leader this week, ending all speculation that he could make the leap to the NFL. Instead, he’ll stick around Evanston through the 2030 season.

Fitzgerald just completed his 15the season as the head coach at Northwestern, leading the Wildcats to their second B1G West title in three seasons. On Thursday morning, he joined WGN Radio to discuss his new deal with the program.

The longtime head coach said he was “humbled and honored” to get a lengthy extension.

“I’ll be very honest with you, I’m very, very, very, very happy to be a Northwestern Wildcat. You just work through the process. We had conversations at the end of the season,” Fitzgerald said. “You’re just humbled to know you’re doing a good job from leading. …I’m just incredible thankful for the support of the university.”

A 10-year deal isn’t just beneficial for Fitzgerald’s job security and the reassurance for fans that he’ll continue to coach the Wildcats for years to come, but it also shows recruits that Fitzgerald is around for the long haul.

That’s something that will undoubtedly benefits the Wildcats as they continue to chase a B1G title.

“I think it shows the commitment mutually between the university and the program that we believe in what we’re doing,” Fitzgerald said. “We believe in the process we have and we know we can improve and get better and we’re fully committed to doing that and doing it the Northwestern Wildcat way. We’re proud of that.”

Northwestern closed out the 2020 season with a 7-2 record.