Northwestern’s athletic program has undergone a significant upheaval recently. Troubling allegations have led to the university parting ways with head football coach Pat Fitzpatrick and head baseball coach Jim Foster.
The baseball team is reportedly eyeing Joe Girardi, who managed the New York Yankees to their most recent World Series title in 2009.
Jon Morosi of MLB Network reported that the Wildcats are interested in Girardi, as well as other former MLB players, Mark Loretta and Chris Getz, as well as Michigan assistant, Ben Greenspan.
Sources: Northwestern is interested in baseball head coach candidates with MLB ties: NU alums Joe Girardi and Mark Loretta are on the early list, as is White Sox assistant GM Chris Getz. Ben Greenspan, highly regarded Michigan assistant, could also be considered. @MLBNetwork
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 15, 2023
Girardi has deep ties to the university and the area.
Not only did he go to Northwestern, but he was born in Peoria, Illinois and went to High School at Peoria’s (now closed) Spalding Institute. In the Major Leagues, he had two different stints with the Cubs. He broke in with Chicago, playing with the Cubs from 1989-1992. Then, later in his career, he returned to the Cubs for a second tenure from 2000-2002. He also serves as an analyst for the Cubs broadcasts on the Marquee Sports Network.
Girardi has managed three MLB teams in his career, the Miami Marlins (then Florida Marlins), Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies. His stint in New York was easily the most successful, as he won the 2009 World Series, led the Yankees to three AL East titles and five trips to the postseason. The Yankees replaced Girardi after the 2017 season, finishing his tenure there with a 910-710 record.
His time with the Marlins and Phillies was not as successful. Girardi managed the Marlins for one season, guiding them to a 78-84 record in 2006. He then led the Phillies from 2020-2022. Girardi was fired 51 games into the 2022 season, with Philadelphia at 22-29. All told, his record with the Phillies was 132-141.
Foster was fired in July after bullying allegations surfaced. Whoever is hired will not only be taking over a program in flux but a struggling one. The Wildcats were 10-40 in the 2023 season and 4-20 in conference play.