Defensive Coaching Staff

Mike Hankwitz
Defensive Coordinator

Veteran defensive coordinator Mike Hankwitz, who has won 390 games as a college assistant coach and coordinator, recently concluded his 11th season with the Wildcats and his 50th college season overall. He began his Northwestern tenure Jan. 18, 2008.

In 2018, Hankwitz’s defense that helped lead to a Big Ten West title was tied for third in the nation in fumbles recovered with 14 and were the least penalized unit in country. They were also a national top-15 unit in total turnovers. He also helped guide six ‘Cats to All-Big Ten honors, including sophomore linebacker Paddy Fisher and senior defensive back Montre Hartage earning first team distinctions.

Most recently in 2017, Hankwitz’s defensive unit was ranked 9th best in the country in rushing defense, 10th best in red zone defense and 20th best in scoring defense. Godwin Igwebuike was named a consensus Second-Team All-Big Ten selection, while redshirt first-year linebacker Paddy Fisher and sophomore defensive end Joe Gaziano were voted to the second team by the media and third team by the league's coaches. Fisher was also named the Big Ten Defensive Rookie of the Year by the Big Ten Network. Senior safety Kyle Queiro was named a consensus third-team selection. Senior defensive tackle Tyler Lancaster, junior linebacker Nate Hall, first-year defensive end Samdup Miller also received All-Big Ten honorable mention honors from the coaches and media.

Hankwitz immediately had a measurable impact in his first season in Evanston, making the Wildcats' defense the fifth-most improved unit in the nation in the 2008 campaign. After allowing 31.0 points per game in 2007, Northwestern surrendered just 20.15 in 2008 to rank 27th in the country and fourth in the Big Ten. The Wildcats also ranked in the top-30 nationally in sacks (18th), pass efficiency defense (25th) and tackles for loss (28th).

The Wildcats posted 20 defensive shutout quarters on the year and held four opponents to under 100 yards rushing -- including a school-record 4-yard performance against Ohio. In the 2008 Valero Alamo Bowl, Northwestern's defense held Missouri, which touted one of the nation's most potent offenses, to 286 yards of total offense and 17 points through four quarters of play (Missouri came into the game averaging 497.5 yards of offense per game and 43.2 ppg). The Wildcats eventually fell 30-23 in overtime to the Tigers.

Hankwitz's 2009 defense was turnover-oriented, ranking 11th nationally with 30 takeaways. That number was comprised of 17 interceptions (16th in the country) and 13 fumble recoveries (21st). In 2010, NU limited half of its regular-season opponents to 105 total rushing yards or less while holding two foes to under 50 yards passing. Northwestern's defense also did a great job getting off the field, ranking third in the Big Ten with a 36.1 percent opponent's third-down conversion rate. Four members of his defense earned All-Big Ten awards, led by second-team honorees (media) Brian Peters and Vince Browne.

Hankwitz's defense made great strides over the back half of the 2011 season, highlighted by its effort in a road upset of No. 9 Nebraska on Nov. 5. NU limited the Huskers to a season-low 122 yards rushing -- 101 yards below their final season average -- and forced two turnovers. It also marked the first of three straight games in which the 'Cat defense held an opponent to three points or fewer in a half. Hankwitz' safeties each earned extensive postseason recognition, with Peters garnering first-team All-Big Ten honors (media) and Ibraheim Campbell being named a Freshman All-American by numerous outlets.

In 2012, Hankwitz oversaw a defense that was vastly improved from a year prior, ranking No. 3 in the Big Ten in rushing defense and holding eight of NU's 13 opponents to 20 points or fewer. The 'Cats thrived at creating timely turnovers, with NU leading the Big Ten in turnover margin (+13) and tied for fifth in the nation in fumbles recovered (16).

Hankwitz' unit also made its mark with late-game stands in 2012, preventing possible go-ahead, fourth-quarter drives against Syracuse, Vanderbilt, Boston College, Minnesota and Michigan State as well as in NU's landmark Gator Bowl win. Hankwitz' unit recorded four takeaways against Mississippi State -- the third straight game to close the year it had four takeaways -- to deflate their SEC opponent and secure a bowl victory for the 'Cats.

The Wildcats defense picked up in 2013 where it left off the previous year, posting two INT returns for touchdowns in the season-opener at Cal and ranking among the FBS leaders with 19 total picks on the season, one shy of the school record.

The Northwestern defense grew as a unit in 2014, led by Ibraheim Campbell, who earned All-Big Ten second team honors from the league's coaches, and Nick VanHoose, who received an All-Big Ten second team nod from the media. Campbell would go on to be selected by the Cleveland Browns in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL draft. In the upset over Penn State, the defense tied a season-high for sacks (4) and set a season-high for tackles-for-loss (9). The Wildcats also  set a season record in the victory over Wisconsin, recording four interceptions, including three by Godwin Igwebuike.

In 2015, Hankwitz put together a truly formidable defensive unit that was ranked 13th best in the country in yards allowed per game and 12th in points allowed per game. The Wildcats posted two shutouts and held opponents to 14 points or fewer seven times on the season. Anthony Walker Jr. was named to the All-Big Ten first team, while Dean Lowry and Nick VanHoose made the All-Big Ten Second team. Dean Lowry was drafted in the fourth round of the NFL draft by the Green Bay Packers, while Deonte Gibson and Traveon Henry also signed as free agents with the Detroit Lions and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, respectively.

The following season in 2016, Hankwitz’s defense was ranked 30th in the country in rushing defense, allowing just over 139 yards per game along with scoring defense in which they ranked 22nd best in the country. Ifeadi Odenigbo earned First-Team All-Big Ten honors as a senior after leading the league with 10 sacks, finishing his career second in program history with 23.5 career sacks. Walker and Igwebuike were named to the second team by the league's coaches and third team by the media. Walker finished with back-to-back 100-tackle seasons as he ranks 12th in the league with 105 tackles along with 10 tackles for loss, two sacks, four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. Following the season, Walker was selected with the 161st pick overall in the fifth round by the Indianapolis Colts, Odenigbo was picked by the Minnesota Vikings with the 201st pick overall in the seventh round, while Joe Jones signed as an undrafted free agent contract with the Dallas Cowboys.

Hankwitz began coaching in the college ranks in 1970 as a graduate assistant at Michigan, his alma mater, and has worked every year since then at an NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A) institution. He has served as a defensive coordinator at seven different schools (Western Michigan, Colorado [two times], Kansas, Texas A&M, Arizona, Wisconsin and Northwestern) since 1982.

Hankwitz spent two years as the Badgers' defensive coordinator, touting one of the nation's best defenses in 2006. Wisconsin was No. 1 in the country in pass efficiency defense (84.19 rating, third-lowest in Big Ten history), No. 2 in scoring defense (12.1 ppg) and No. 5 in total defense (253.1 ypg). The Badgers limited six of their opponents to 10 points or less and allowed just three foes to reach the 20-point mark. In two years with the Badgers, Hankwitz coached 13 players who received at least honorable mention All-Big Ten honors.

Prior to Wisconsin, Hankwitz spent two seasons as defensive coordinator and outside linebackers coach at Colorado. He served as the program's interim head coach for the Buffaloes' 2005 Champs Sports Bowl game against Clemson. CU won the Big 12 North Division title in both 2004 and 2005. Hankwitz had moved to Colorado after serving as Arizona's defensive coordinator (and later interim head coach) in 2003.

Before his stint at Arizona, Hankwitz was the defensive coordinator and outside linebackers coach (he also coached inside linebackers and punters) at Texas A&M (1997-2002) where he guided the Aggies' famed "Wrecking Crew" defense. During that span he had three top-10 ranked defenses, two top-20 defenses, won two South Division titles and one Big 12 championship. Among Hankwitz's standout players at Texas A&M was Dat Nguyen, who won the Lombardi and Bednarik Awards, as well as being named Chevrolet Defensive Player of the Year in 1998.

Hankwitz spent two seasons (1995-96) as defensive coordinator and inside linebackers coach for head coach Glen Mason at Kansas. The 1995 Jayhawks recorded the school's first 10-win season since 1905, played in the Aloha Bowl and ranked 10th in the final national polls.

Hankwitz enjoyed a highly successful 10-year run in his first tenure with Colorado (1985-94). After coaching outside linebackers and punters his first three years with the Buffs, he was named the program's defensive coordinator in 1988. Colorado put together the nation's fifth-best record (58-11-4) from 1989-94, including a national title in 1990, three Big 8 titles, two appearances each in the Orange and Fiesta Bowls, and six national top-20 rankings (including three top-five finishes). The Buffs' 1989 and 1991 teams set the school record for fewest points allowed (150) in a season. Among Hankwitz's standout players at CU were Jim Thorpe Award winners Deon Figures (1992) and Chris Hudson (1994), and Butkus Award winner Alfred Williams (1990).

Hankwitz was defensive coordinator (with additional responsibilities for the secondary, punters and punt team) at Western Michigan from 1982-84. The 1982 WMU defense allowed only 72 points, the fewest in Division I-A or I-AA. He was the outside linebackers and punting coach at Purdue from 1977-81. Prior to his time at Purdue, Hankwitz was the outside linebackers and secondary coach (along with punt return/punt rush) at Arizona from 1973-76.

Hankwitz began his coaching career as a graduate assistant (1970-72) at Michigan under head coach Bo Schembechler. As a defensive G.A., Hankwitz helped the Wolverines to two Big Ten titles, a 30-3 record, three top-10 national rankings and a 1971 Rose Bowl appearance. As a player at Michigan, he earned three letters and started on the 1969 Big Ten championship squad that played in the Rose Bowl. He earned a bachelor's of science degree in education.

Teams for which Hankwitz has coached have had a winning record in 42 of his 49 years. Eleven of those clubs won conference championships and 12 more were league runners-up. He has coached in 32 bowl games, including every major New Year's Day bowl game -- Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, Orange Bowl, Cotton Bowl, Outback Bowl, Capital One Bowl and Gator Bowl.

In his 34 years as a defensive coordinator, his defense has ranked in the nation's top 25 on 14 occasions. As coordinator, his teams have 38 wins over ranked programs, including eight wins over top-five clubs and two wins over No. 1-ranked teams.

Hankwitz also has coached 14 first-team All-Americans (including four straight punters at Colorado), five conference defensive players of the year, 50 first-team all-conference choices and 16 team MVP's. As a coordinator, Hankwitz has won 235 games and seven championships, and overall has won 354 games (354-178-7, .675) as a college coach (including his three years as a G.A. at Michigan).

He was born in Ludington, Mich., and graduated from Mason County (Scottville, Mich.) Central High School, where he lettered in four sports: football, basketball, track and baseball. He and his wife, Cathy, have one son, Jacob.


Marty Long
Assistant Coach - Defensive Line

Marty Long recently wrapped up his 11th season at the helm of Northwestern's defensive line after coming to the Wildcats prior to the 2008 campaign.

In 2018, Long helped lead the Wildcats stout defensive line rank as the 26th best run defense in the nation and top 3 in fumbles recovered. Junior defensive lineman Joe Gaziano forced three fumbles and finished 8th in the Big Ten in total sacks on his way to All Big-Ten honors. Long has helped Gaziano develop in his first three season with the ‘Cats and with one season of eligibility left, Gaziano is already tied for third all-time in program history with 21 sacks.

Sophomore Samdup Miller recorded 14 tackles against Nebraska, the most tackles by a Wildcat defensive lineman since 2002. Senior Jordan Thompson made 30 consecutive starts at defensive tackle over the past three seasons.

In 2017, Long helped lead a defense that ranked ninth in the country in rushing yards allowed, giving up just under 108 rushing yards per game on the season, and also finished 31st in the country in team sacks and 22nd in team tackles for loss.

Leading the Wildcats’ defensive line in 2017 was senior defensive tackle Tyler Lancaster along with first-year Samdup Miller and sophomore Joe Gaziano at defensive end.

Joe Gaziano, capped off his sophomore season as one of the most feared pass rushers in the nation. His nine sacks in 2017 were the most in the Big Ten and among the Top 25 of all players in the country. Gaziano also finished the year with 12.5 tackles for loss as well as four forced fumbles, tied for third most in the Big Ten, helping him earn an All-Big Ten third team selection. After just two seasons of work, Gaziano now stands alone for ninth in program history with 13.5 career sacks.

Playing in the interior, Lancaster has caused nightmares for every offensive line he has face, which caused teams to double team him on nearly every snap of the season. Meanwhile, in his first season of action, Miller led all Big Ten newcomers with 5.5 sacks along with 8.5 tackles for loss. Both Lancaster and Miller were rewarded with All-Big Ten Honorable Mention selections.

Long helped mentor one of the top pass rushers in program history in Ifeadi Odenigbo, who culminated his career with a First-Team All-Big Ten selection in 2016. Odenigbo led the Big Ten with 10 sacks during his senior campaign and finished his career ranked second in program history with 23.5 career sacks. He set a single-game record with four sacks at Iowa and recorded two more sacks in a win over Michigan State to become the first player in program history with multiple sacks in back-to-back games.

In his first year at NU, Long's defensive line was Northwestern's most-improved and impressive unit. Led by first-team All-Big Ten selection Corey Wootton at defensive end, the Wildcats ranked 18th in the nation and second in the conference in sacks with 2.62 per game. As an individual, Wootton led the team both with 10.0 sacks (21st in the nation) and 16.0 tackles-for-loss (35th in the nation). NU's five regular starters all had a minimum of 3.5 sacks and 5.5 tackles-for-loss.

NU's line helped hold four different opponents to under 100 yards rushing, including limiting Ohio to an NU-school-record four net yards on the ground. Senior John Gill joined Wootton as an All-Big Ten honoree, while redshirt first-year Vince Browne was and Sporting News Freshman All-America award winner.

In 2009, NU's defensive line recorded 30.5 tackles for loss including 18 quarterback sacks to help the Wildcats rank 34th in the nation in sacks. Wootton recovered from a devastating knee injury in the 2008 Alamo Bowl to finish his year strong, becoming a fourth-round NFL Draft pick of the Chicago Bears. Browne followed up on a strong first-year campaign with eight tackles-for-loss and five sacks in 2009.

Long's unit held exactly half of Northwestern's regular-season opponents in 2010 to under 105 yards rushing as a team while combining for a whopping 41.5 regular-season tackles-for-loss -- up from 30.5 all of 2009. Much of that production came from Browne, whose 15.5 tackles for loss ranked him third in the conference and ninth in NU single-season history. Included in that total are 7.0 sacks, good for the second-best per-game average in the conference. Browne's performance earned an All-Big Ten second-team accolade from the media. Also picking up an All-Big Ten nod was senior interior lineman Corbin Bryant -- who has earned a spot with the NFL's Buffalo Bills -- whose 8.5 tackles for loss ranked third on the team.

In 2011, Long oversaw a defensive line group that regularly went eight deep, using a number of personnel combinations over the course of the year. Northwestern racked up 53.0 tackles for loss in 2011, up from 41.5 in the 2010 regular season and 29.5 two years ago. Senior Jack DiNardo was the leader among Wildcat down linemen with 6.5 TFL's and 3.0 sacks and was second in total tackles with 32.

The unit evolved into a force for the Wildcats during the 10-win 2012 campaign, ranking third in the Big Ten with 127.6 rushing yards allowed per game -- one yard shy of the school record Long's unit recorded in 2008. The defensive end tandem of Tyler Scott and Quentin Williams combined for 21.0 TFL's, 13.5 sacks and five forced fumbles, while Williams provided the exclamation point on the year with his INT return for touchdown on the third play from scrimmage at the Gator Bowl. Senior DT Brian Arnfelt contributed 6.0 TFLs to NU's cause in his best season as a 'Cat, and sophomore Sean McEvilly grew under Long's tutelage into a starting role next to Arnfelt.

Scott's playing career under Long came full circle as a senior in 2013 when he registered 10.0 TFLs, 6.0 sacks, two interceptions and two forced fumbles en route to being named Northwestern's team MVP after the season. Long also groomed underclassmen Dean Lowry, Deonte Gibson and Ifeadi Odenigbo into impact players at defensive end, with the redshirt first-year Odenigbo notching 6.5 TFLs and 5.5 sacks on only nine total tackles for the year.

The defensive line was one of the strongest components of the NU defense in 2014, with Dean Lowry as the biggest standout of the unit, notching a team-best 4.0 sacks and a second-best mark of 8.0 TFLs. He was named to the honorable mention category of the All-Big Ten following the season.

Long engineered another superb defensive line in 2015 that formed the formidable teeth of the Northwestern defense. Dean Lowry led the way with 52 tackles, 13.5 for loss, and 3 sacks that earned him an All-Big Ten second team selection and ultimately a fourth-round selection in the draft by the Green Bay Packers. Deonte Gibson also had a strong season with a team-high nine sacks that led to an honorable All-Big Ten Mention and a free agent signing with the Detroit Lions.

Since graduating from The Citadel in 1986, where he played running back, Long has been coaching in the college ranks for all but two years. He was a defensive graduate assistant at Western Kentucky (1986) and The Citadel (1987) before assuming a full-time position with his alma mater in 1988. He continued coaching the Bulldogs until 1994 when he made the jump to professional football, serving as a defensive assistant with the CFL's Baltimore Stallions for two seasons.

Long then moved back into college coaching and spent 12 straight years on the West Coast, beginning with an assistant position (defensive line coach) with Arizona under head coaches Dick Tomey and John Mackovic. During his tenure in Tucson, the Wildcats fielded some of the nation's top defensive teams, ranking 12th nationally in rushing defense in 1997 and '98, and ranking eighth in rushing defense and 21st in total defense in 2000.

In 2004, Long began a three-year stint with Chris Ault's Nevada Wolfpack, coaching the defensive line. He then served on Bill Doba's staff at Washington State this past season.

Throughout his coaching career, Long has been a part of several championship teams. At The Citadel, he helped the Bulldogs to a Southern Conference championship (11-2) in 1992. With the Baltimore Stallions, they won the 1995 Grey Cup (18-3) with the greatest record in the history of the league. At Arizona, the Wildcats went 12-1 in 1998 (best season in school history) and won the Holiday Bowl. At Nevada, the Wolfpack won the WAC title in 2005 (9-3) and played in the Hawaii Bowl.

In 1992, he earned a Coach of the Year Medallion from the Eastman Kodak Company.

Long is a native of Rock Hill, S.C., where he attended Northwestern High. He graduated from The Citadel in 1986 with a bachelor's degree in math and computer science. He and his wife, Donna, have a son, Jerrell, and two daughters, Anna and Kayla.


Matt MacPherson
Associate Head Coach - Defensive Backs

On February 9, 2018, Dan & Susan Jones Family Head Football Coach Pat Fitzgerald announced that Matt MacPherson had been promoted to Associate Head Coach in charge of defensive backs.

In his first season on the defensive side of the ball, MacPherson led the Wildcat defensive backs, a group that earned a ranking of 40th in the nation.

Senior cornerback Montre Hartage was 16th in the country with 30 total passes defended, including two interceptions, including one in the Big Ten Championship game. Hartage recorded four pass breakups against Wisconsin, which is the most for any Wildcat since 2000.

Macpherson also helped true sophomore J.R. Pace have a breakout year. Pace earned  All-Big Ten honorable mention behind his 82 tackles and tied for team leading 3 interceptions and earned defensive MVP of the Holiday Bowl after an interception and fumble recovery.

A former defensive graduate assistant for Northwestern under Randy Walker, Matt MacPherson is entering his 13th season as a coach under Fitzgerald. He spent 12 seasons as the Wildcats' running backs coach and his five as the program's recruiting coordinator before being promoted to his current position in February of 2019.

As running backs coach, MacPherson has helped tutor three of the most explosive running backs in program history in Justin Jackson, Tyrell Sutton and Venric Mark. Sutton ranks third in program history in career rushing yards, while Mark is fourth in school history in all-purpose yards.

Jackson wrapped up his career in 2017 as the most accomplished running back in Northwestern history, finishing his career with 1,142 carries, 5,440 rushing yards and 41 rushing touchdowns. He ranks first in program history in all three categories. Jackson also etched his name in the Big Ten record books, ranking third all-time in carries as well as third in rushing yards behind only Ron Dayne and Archie Griffin.

Jackson finished the 2017 season with 1,311 total yards, the third most by a Northwestern Wildcat in his senior season. He finished over the century mark in seven games and also threw for his first career passing touchdown during Northwestern’s triple-overtime victory over No. 16 Michigan State. Jackson capped off his career by surpassing 100 yards rushing for the 27th time in his career during the Wildcats’ 24-23 victory over Kentucky in the 2017 Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl. Jackson finished with 32 carries for 157 yards and two touchdowns to earn Most Valuable Player honors in Northwestern’s bowl game for the second-­straight year.

Jackson burst onto the scene as a true first-year in 2014 and took the Big Ten by storm, rushing for 1,187 yards and 10 touchdowns. He was NU's leading rusher in all 12 games, with six 100-yard rushing performances (all against Big Ten opponents and Notre Dame). He was only the second first-year in program history to notch over 1,000 yards on the ground. His 98.9 yards per game were the fourth-most by a Power-5 conference first-year during the 2014 regular season and were sixth-most overall in the Big Ten.

MacPherson helped Justin Jackson sustain his excellence in 2015 as Jackson rushed for 1,418 yards and became only the fifth player in program history to run for back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. Jackson had seven games where he rushed for over 100 yards and finished 18th in the country in rushing yards. Warren Long also had a strong season and added five rushing touchdowns of his own.

Jackson had his best season to date in 2016, leading the Big Ten with a career high 1,524 rushing yards and ranking third in the league with a career-high 15 rushing touchdowns. He culminated his junior campaign by earning MVP honors in the Wildcats' victory over No. 23 Pittsburgh in the 2016 New Era Pinstripe Bowl with 32 carries for a career-high 224 yards and three touchdowns. Jackson rushed over 100 yards six times and scored three touchdowns in three different games. He became the first player in program history to rush for 1,000-plus yards in three-consecutive seasons and will enter his senior campaign just 357 yards shy of breaking the Northwestern record for career rushing yards.

MacPherson's first season as the running backs coach also notched him his first 1,000-yard rusher in Tyrell Sutton. Sutton followed his record-breaking first-year campaign with a 5.3 yard per carry average in 2006. He finished with 1,000 yards on 189 attempts and also caught 40 passes (261 yards) out of the backfield.

In 2007, Sutton was named an honorable mention All-Big Ten selection by the coaches despite missing five-plus games with an ankle injury. In Sutton's absence, both Omar Conteh and Brandon Roberson recorded 100-yard rushing games.

MacPherson's running back corps was hit hard by injuries in 2008, but the group stepped up and performed well regardless. Sutton appeared in parts of nine games during the regular season, averaging 98.9 yards per game and 4.8 yards per carry. He also was NU's fourth-leading receiver to earn honorable mention All-Big Ten accolades from the coaches, the fourth All-Big Ten nod of his career. Sutton finished the regular season with 1,195 all-purpose yards in his nine appearances, averaging 132.8 yards per game. As a team, NU averaged 141.8 yards on the ground per game.

The Wildcats employed a running back-by-committee approach in 2009 due to similarly skilled players and injuries. The quartet combined for 10 touchdowns on the season.

MacPherson again came into the 2010 season without a true starter named from among his unit. All told, six different running backs recorded carries and five started at least one game. NU's regular-season rushing total increased 25 percent over its 2009 total when all was said and done. Jacob Schmidt emerged as a reliable starter midway through the year, scoring four touchdowns while starting four games. After an injury to Schmidt, redshirt first-year Mike Trumpy stepped up in a big way to start the next four games until an injury of his own kept him out of the regular season finale and TicketCity Bowl. In his four starts, Trumpy put together two 100-yard rushing efforts (110 at Indiana and 129 versus Illinois), averaging 4.6 yards per carry on the year while leading NU in rushing for the season.

The running game remained consistent in 2011 despite losing Trumpy to an ACL injury in the Big Ten-opener vs. Illinois. Schmidt started 11 of 12 games and led NU's running backs with 465 yards and six touchdowns, including a career performance of 110 yards and two touchdowns at Indiana. Schmidt also keyed one of NU's most memorable drives of the year, a series of 13 plays covering 66 yards and ending in seven points that sealed the 'Cats' win at Nebraska.

MacPherson oversaw a unit that keyed Northwestern's 10-win season in 2012, as converted wideout Venric Mark found a home at running back and exploded on the scene to become NU's first 1,000-yard rusher since 2006. Mark recorded the sixth-best single-season rushing total in school history (1,366 yards), scored 12 rushing touchdowns and topped 100 yards rushing in a game eight times, en route to being named a consensus second-team All-Big Ten performer and a finalist for the coveted Doak Walker Award.

MacPherson combined Mark's dynamism with the hard-nosed running styles of Mike Trumpy and Tyris Jones to help the Wildcats rank fourth in the Big Ten in rushing yards per game (225.5) and come within 70 yards of matching the program's  single-season record for team rushing yards.

With Venric Mark enduring several injuries that resulted in a medical redshirt season in 2013, MacPherson relied on Treyvon Green and Mike Trumpy to carry the rushing load, with Green surpassing 100 yards in three different games. Redshirt first-year Stephen Buckley also emerged as a dynamic runner in the mold of Venric Mark -- posting a career-high 99 yards at Iowa -- before seeing his season end with an injury at Nebraska.

Prior to joining the Wildcat staff, MacPherson spent two seasons working on Jeff Genyk's staff at Eastern Michigan University, coaching the Eagles' safeties. Prior to his two-year stint at Eastern Michigan, MacPherson was the defensive coordinator/linebackers coach at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio.

A native of Dayton, Ohio, MacPherson attended DePauw University, where he played football for four seasons and was named a two-time first-team all-conference linebacker. He also was named a third-team Football Gazette All-American in 1998. He was DePauw's Defensive Player of the Year in 1998, and went on to be selected to the school's All-Century Team.

Following his graduation in 1999, MacPherson remained at DePauw as a graduate assistant/recruiting coordinator and worked as the running backs coach and the junior varsity offensive coordinator. He earned a bachelor's degree in health and physical performance.

MacPherson and his wife, Pamela, have three children: Thomas, Andrew and Emily.

Long is a native of Rock Hill, S.C., where he attended Northwestern High. He graduated from The Citadel in 1986 with a bachelor's degree in math and computer science. He and his wife, Donna, have a son, Jerrell, and two daughters, Anna and Kayla.


Tim McGarigle
Assistant Coach - Linebackers

Northwestern alum Tim McGarigle was named the program's linebackers coach by Dan and Susan Jones Family Head Football Coach Pat Fitzgerald on Jan. 9, 2018.

During his first season back at his alma mater, McGarigle’s linebacker corps, three of his players earned All-Big Ten honors, including sophomore Paddy Fisher being named to the All-Big Ten first team.

Fisher finished 8th in the conference with 116 total tackles and led the team with four forced fumbles. McGarigle’s unit also excelled at taking the ball away, his linebackers helped create 12 turnovers during the 2018 campaign.

McGarigle spent the 2017 campaign as a defensive quality control coach for the National Football League's Green Bay Packers under Head Coach Mike McCarthy. His responsibilities included analyzing opponent game film to identify playbook development and offensive tendencies, as well as compiling team and player reports and coordinating scout teams that the starting defense faces at practice.

Prior to his NFL tenure, McGarigle spent the 2016 season as Linebackers Coach at the University of Illinois, and four seasons (2012-15) at Western Michigan University in the same position along with two years as Defensive Run Game Coordinator. He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at his alma mater in 2011. McGarigle served as a defensive quality control assistant while studying for a master's degree in sports administration, and helped Northwestern improve in rushing, total and scoring defense en route to reaching its fourth straight bowl game.

The Chicago native attended St. Patrick High School and was inducted into to the Shamrock Hall of Fame in 2008. He totaled 107 tackles and 3.5 sacks as a senior in 2001 as the Catholic Metropolitan Conference Defensive Player of the Year. He was also named to the Catholic All-State and All-Area teams by the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times and Champaign News.

During his college career with the Wildcats, McGarigle totaled a school and FBS-record 545 career tackles, (since 2000, when NCAA tackle records began). As a senior in 2005, he posted 156 tackles and was named a semifinalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award and the Dick Butkus Award. He totaled three consecutive 140-plus-tackle seasons after posting 98 in his debut. McGarigle earned his undergraduate degree in communications studies.

McGarigle was drafted by St. Louis in the seventh round (221st overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft. After spending the 2006 season on the Rams' practice squad, he played in 12 games in 2007, primarily on special teams. McGarigle was selected as the team's Iron Man Award winner after the season for his dedication and achievements during team workouts. He also played two seasons (2009-10) in the United Football League, helping the Florida Tuskers win 11 of 14 regular-season games and appear in the championship game both of those seasons.

Tim and his wife, Charlotte, have two daughters, Claire and Catherine.

Pat Fitzgerald Football Camps are open to all, limited only by age and number of campers