Now that we are closing in on the final games of the college football regular season, the coaching carousel is about to put the pedal to the metal with headlines flying by and a rapid pace. The Big Ten had two vacancies open up early in the season, but it appears one of those vacancies will be filled.
According to multiple reports on Wednesday, Northwestern is expected to remove the interim tag on David Braun, making him the full-time head coach of the Wildcats moving forward. Pete Thamel of ESPN was among the first to report, via X (formerly known as Twitter), the coaching search development out of Evanston.
Braun took over the head coaching job at Northwestern on an interim basis following the offseason dismissal of Pat Fitzgerald amid allegations of hazing within the program. After going 1-11 last season, Braun has Northwestern on the verge of bowl eligibility. Northwestern needs one win in their final two games to clinch bowl eligibility few could have envisioned for the program this season.
Sources: Northwestern is expected to hire interim coach David Braun as the school’s permanent head coach. Braun has Northwestern at 5-5 after a 1-11 season last year. pic.twitter.com/In9j3exXe1
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) November 15, 2023
So it looks as though Braun will indeed have a chance to welcome Penn State back to Evanston in the coming years. Braun did not take kindly to Penn State’s silent practices leading up to a September matchup in Evanston.
“Do we know when Penn State returns to Evanston and Ryan Field,” Braun asked in his postgame press conference when asked about Penn State head coach James Franklin’s quotes about the silent practices. “I tell you what, I saw a group of student section, maybe not right at 11 o’clock, but as the game wore on, I saw a student section that started to show up.”
“I saw a group of energized fans in that first half and I see a football program that’s trending in the right direction,” Braun went on to say. “New stadium on the way. I look forward to inviting coach Franklin and Penn State back to Ryan Field and seeing what type of environment we can create for them next time he’s here.”
Penn State is currently scheduled to make its next trip to Northwestern in 2026.
The only current vacancy to be filled in the Big Ten at this time is the Michigan State job. The Spartans fired Mel Tucker amid a sexual harassment allegation just weeks into the season.