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Big Ten: Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald voted coach of year

November 27, 2018

FILE - In this Nov. 24, 2018, file photo, Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald watches his team during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Illinois in Evanston, Ill. No. 21 Northwestern set to face No. 6 Ohio State in the Wildcats’ first Big Ten championship game appearance on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018, in what could be a signature moment for a consistent winner trying to earn its spot among the conference’s elite. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)

ROSEMONT, Ill. (AP) — Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald is the unanimous choice for Big Ten coach of the year.

The conference on Tuesday announced half its postseason awards based on voting by coaches and media. Fitzgerald led the Wildcats (8-4) to the West Division title after going winless in nonconference play and losing several starters to injuries.

Michigan’s Devin Bush is defensive player of the year and top linebacker. Michigan State’s Kenny Willekes was voted top defensive lineman and Iowa’s Amani Hooker top defensive back.

Michigan had five players named to the coaches’ All-Big Ten first-team defense, with Bush joined by Chase Winovich, Rashan Gary, Lavert Hill and David Long. Other picks were Joe Bachie and Willekes of Michigan State, Dre’Mont Jones of Ohio State, Paddy Fisher of Northwestern and Amani Oruwariye of Penn State.

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