CHICAGO (CBS) — Forget all those NFL rumors. Pat Fitzgerald is staying in Evanston. The Wildcats have locked up the winningest coach in Northwestern Football history with a brand new 10-year deal.

There’s a good reason that NFL teams have been checking in to see if he was interested in leaving the college ranks.

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In just 15 seasons, the 46-year-old Pat Fitzgerald is the winningest coach in team history. He has led them to the Big Ten Championship Game in two of the last three years, and they have won four straight bowl games.

This is essentially the final move by longtime Northwestern Athletic Director Jim Phillips before he leaves to take over as the new ACC Commissioner next month.

Fourteen of Northwestern’s 16 bowl game appearances have been with Fitz as a coach — or a player.

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He is also the sixth longest tenured coach out of 130 Division I FBS programs.

The contract keeps Fitzgerald on through 2030, which would be his 25th season.

Fitzgerald is from Orland Park, so the Chicago area is home.

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