Former Northwestern football head coach Pat Fitzgerald will serve as one of multiple "parent volunteers" for Loyola Academy's football program, just weeks after being fired from Northwestern due to a hazing scandal that has engulfed the school in controversy.
Fitzgerald has two children at Loyola Academy, a private Catholic high school located in suburban Wilmette.
A spokesperson for Loyola Academy issued the following statement regarding the football team's coaching staff:
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"Beau Desherow ’93 was named head coach of the Loyola Academy varsity football team in the spring. He takes over for longtime coach John Holecek, who led the Ramblers to IHSA 8A state championship titles in 2015, 2018, and 2022. Coach Desherow looks forward to continuing this tradition of excellence as he prepares for the 2023-2024 season. Supporting him are many assistant coaches as well as parent volunteers, who provide an invaluable service to all of our athletic teams—indeed, our entire Loyola community—assisting with gameday management, logistics, offering fresh insight, etc."
"Among other volunteers, current parent Pat Fitzgerald P ’23, P’25, P’27 will serve as a volunteer for the football program. As required by Loyola Academy, the Archdiocese of Chicago, and State of Illinois, all Loyola Academy coaches and volunteers must complete a number of trainings, background checks, and sign a code of conduct agreement. Coach Desherow is laser-focused on the season ahead, which starts with the Ramblers’ first matchup vs Catholic Central High School (MI) on Saturday, August 26."
A graduate of Carl Sandburg High School in Orland Park and four-year player at Northwestern, Fitzgerald served as the school's head coach from 2006 up until his recent suspension and firing.
After the school initially suspended Fitzgerald, The Daily Northwestern published an article including allegations from a former player who described specific instances of hazing and abuse and suggested he may have been aware.
A former Northwestern football player, identified in one lawsuit as John Doe, alleged last month in the Cook County Court in Chicago that Fitzgerald, Northwestern University President Michael Schill, the board of trustees and athletic director Derrick Gragg enabled and concealed sexual misconduct and racial discrimination.