Cumberland Times-News

February 7, 2014

FSU names new coach

DeLane Fitzgerald to lead Bobcats’ football program

From Staff Reports
Cumberland Times-News

— FROSTBURG — DeLane Fitzgerald has been named Frostburg State University’s 13th head football coach athletic director Troy A. Dell announced on Friday.

Fitzgerald was the winning candidate following a nationwide search through January.

“I’m ecstatic to be here and I can’t wait to get to work,” said Fitzgerald. “I’ve always thought, throughout my career, that the Frostburg State University football program is a sleeping giant. We will build a successful program on discipline and competitiveness and we (coaching staff and team) will finish everything we start.”

“DeLane Fitzgerald brings to Frostburg State University a true love of the game of football, but even more, a love of teaching football to student-athletes,” said FSU President Jonathan Gibralter. “His skills are those needed to build a winning program and be a positive, inspiring force to his team.”

Fitzgerald comes to Frostburg after coaching at Southern Virginia University for the past eight years, including the last five as the program’s head coach. He was tasked with turning around the Knights that averaged just two wins per year over the program’s history.

Fitzgerald, who has 24 wins in five seasons at the helm of Southern Virginia, helped the Knights set the single-season school record for wins twice. This past season, he led SVU to a program-best 8-2 record behind a six-game winning streak. The Knights finished the season ranked No. 1 in the final United States Collegiate Athletic Association coaches’ poll.

In 2012, he led the Knights to a 5-6 overall record, the third highest single-season total. As the offensive coordinator in 2007, Fitzgerald helped the team a then school-record 6-5 mark.

That same season, the Knights set school marks in rushing, passing, total offense and points scored and finished seventh in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) in total offense (474.3 yards per game).

Prior to Southern Virginia, Fitzgerald served for one season as offensive coordinator at NAIA-affiliated Bethel University (Tenn.), helping the Wildcats to a 7-4 overall record and the 2005 Mid-South Conference Western Division Championship.

Fitzgerald’s offense ranked fourth in the NAIA in total offense (453.8), third in rushing offense (272.8), seventh in pass efficiency rating (140.2) and 10th in third-down conversion percentage (43.1 percent).

Fitzgerald served for two years on the football staff at the University of Tennessee Martin in 2003-04 as the special teams coordinator and running backs coach. Prior to UTM, he coached at James Madison University for the 2002 season. The Dukes posted a 5-7 overall record, but laid the ground work for JMU’s NCAA I-AA National Championship two seasons later.

Fitzgerald got his coaching start at the Bridgton Academy in North Bridgton, Maine, from 2000-01 serving as the school’s defensive coordinator.

His collegiate playing career started at Potomac State College from 1995-96. As a sophomore, he was named team captain and was a Lough Award and Student-Athlete Award winner. After PSC,

Fitzgerald transferred to James Madison for the 1997-1999 seasons. He helped lead JMU to an 8-4 record in 99 with a spot in the NCAA Playoffs and a share of the Atlantic 10 Championship. He was twice selected to the Academic All-Atlantic 10 team.

Fitzgerald received his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from James Madison in 1999. In 2012, he earned his master’s degree in education from Bethel University.