Northwest fired baseball coach Jim Foster on Thursday, just days after the university fired football coach Pat Fitzgerald in the wake of a growing hazing scandal that rocked the Big Ten school.
Foster was «relieved of his duties, effective immediately» after just one season on the bench leading the Wildcats, athletic director Derrick Gragg announced.
Gragg did not reveal the exact reasons for Foster’s firing, but made vague references to «building a culture» at the prestigious school outside Chicago.
«Nothing will be more important to Northwestern than providing a place for its students that allows them to thrive in the classroom, in the community and in competition at the highest level, and building a culture that allows our staff to thrive.» Gragg said in a statement.
“This has been an ongoing situation and many factors were considered before reaching this resolution. As Director of Athletics, I take charge of our head coaching hires and we will share our next steps as they develop.”
Foster was formerly baseball coach for Army o west point, Where he had been patriot league coach of the year in 2022 and had led the Black Knights to four consecutive league titles and NCAA playoff appearances.
The baseball coach could not immediately be reached for comment Friday at the publicly listed phone numbers and email addresses linked to him.
Foster’s firing came days after the school parted ways with its former football coach, Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald has maintained that he was not aware of any hazing on his show and said the school’s independent investigation into the matter clears him of guilt.
«Attorney Maggie Hickey conducted a comprehensive, months-long investigation into the allegations that led to my termination,» Fitzgerald said in a statement earlier this week. «His investigation of her reaffirmed what I have always maintained — that she had no knowledge of any form of hazing within the Northwest Football Program.»
The hazing allegations were first reported by the campus newspaper, the Daily Northwestern.
Northwestern’s football program is now run by David Braun, who was defensive coordinator fly-up to the interim head coach.
Fitzgerald was head coach for 17 seasons, building the Wildcats into a consistently competitive team, no mean feat in the hyper-competitive Big Ten.
A Northwestern alum, Fitzgerald was 110-101 in his time in charge of the team, a program best known for a 34 game losing streak which lasted from 1979 to 1982.
Donna Mendell contributed.