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Northwestern's David Braun named Big Ten Coach of the Year

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Despite rising to lead Northwestern's football team amid a hazing scandal that led to the ousting of his predecessor, the Wildcats' David Braun was named the consensus Big Ten Coach of the Year.

Braun was named Northwestern's interim head coach in July after Pat Fitzgerald's firing over allegations of hazing in the Wildcats program. The university hired Braun as the full-time head coach earlier this month.

During what was widely expected to be a difficult season, Northwestern defied the odds and finished the regular season with a 7-5 record (5-4 in the Big Ten), becoming bowl-eligible. The seven wins were the most by a Northwestern first-year coach since 1903, according to the university.

The season represented a tremendous turnaround after a 1-11 campaign in 2022 during Fitzgerald's final year.

The Wildcats finished the regular season with three straight wins, including last Saturday's 45-43 win in Champaign against rival Illinois to recapture the Land of Lincoln Trophy.

Braun earned both Coach of the Year honors as voted on by conference coaches and media voters. He had only joined the program last January as the team's defensive coordinator.

The Big Ten Conference postseason awards are voted on by conference and a select media panel and honors teams, coaches and students with individual awards that each bear the names of one or two former standouts.

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