March 3, 1942|
San Francisco, California
|Died||January 19, 2010
|Alma mater||Cal State, Los Angeles|
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|D. Murphy HS (CA) (J.V.)
Archbishop Mitty HS (CA)
Santa Clara (freshmen)
Santa Clara (assistant)
|Administrative career (AD unless noted)|
|Head coaching record|
Fitzgerald was the head coach at Gonzaga for 15 seasons between 1978 and 1997 (except for 1981 to 1985) with an overall record of 252–171 (.596). He led the Bulldogs to their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament in 1995, after leading them to their first post-season tournament, the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) in 1994, where they won at Stanford in the first round. They had narrowly missed an NIT selection the previous two seasons. Gonzaga returned to the NIT in 1996.
Among his recruits was future Basketball Hall of Fame member John Stockton, out of Gonzaga Prep in 1980. Fitzgerald was also responsible for hiring coaches Mark Few, Dan Monson, and Bill Grier to Gonzaga. His win total was a school record until Few passed him in 2009.
Prior to his hiring in April 1978, Fitzgerald was an assistant coach for three seasons at Santa Clara, with a previous two-year stint as an assistant at Gonzaga under Adrian Buoncristiani, a high school teammate whom Fitzgerald ultimately succeeded. In between, he worked in the private sector for a year. At Gonzaga, his first season as head coach was their final year in the Big Sky Conference. Shortly after his arrival in Spokane, "Fitz" stated he was a strong proponent of moving out of the Big Sky to the WCAC. After becoming part-owner of the Spokane Indians, athletic director (and former baseball coach) Larry Koentopp resigned in the fall of 1978 and Fitzgerald took on the AD position as well.
Following his third year as head coach, Fitzgerald stepped down in 1981 to focus his efforts as athletic director and hired assistant and GU alumnus Jay Hillock as head coach. Hillock resigned after four seasons in April 1985 and Fitzgerald returned to coach the Bulldogs. After making it to the NCAA Tournament a decade later, he announced in 1995 that he planned to coach two more seasons and promote Monson, a GU assistant since 1988, to head coach.
After 19 years as athletic director, Fitzgerald resigned in December 1997, and was succeeded by Mike Roth. Fitzgerald then worked in private business in the Spokane area. He died in Spokane at age 67 after an apparent heart attack on January 19, 2010.
Fitzgerald was also responsible for Gonzaga being put on four years of probation for keeping an illegal slush fund for recruiting purposes, hiding almost $200,000 from the NCAA. The NCAA investigators agreed that Gonzaga did not gain a competitive advantage from use of the money, since the totals spent on recruiting fell within NCAA guidelines. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/basketball/college/news/1998/07/30/gonzaga_probation/
Born in San Francisco, California, Fitzgerald went to high school at St. Ignatius and attended college at Santa Clara and San Francisco State, and graduated from Cal State, Los Angeles. Prior to coaching at the college level, Fitzgerald was a high school coach and English teacher in California at Daniel Murphy (St. John Vianney) in Los Angeles and Archbishop Mitty (1968-1971) in San Jose.
Head coaching record
|Gonzaga Bulldogs (Big Sky) (1978–1979)|
|Gonzaga Bulldogs (WCAC) (1979–1981)|
|Gonzaga Bulldogs (WCAC/WCC) (1985–1997)|
|1993–94||Gonzaga||22–8||12–2||1st||NIT 2nd Round|
|1994–95||Gonzaga||21–9||7–7||4th||NCAA 1st Round|
|1995–96||Gonzaga||21–9||10–4||T-1st||NIT 1st Round|
|Gonzaga:||252–171 (.596)||119–93 (.514)|
- West Coast Athletic Conference was renamed West Coast Conference in summer 1989.
- Boling, Dave (March 7, 1995). "Slipper fits Gonzaga". Spokesman-Review. p. C1.
- Boling, Dave (March 18, 1994). "Zags prove they belong". Spokesman-Review. p. C1.
- Blanchette, John (March 16, 1992). "NIT snub frustrates Zags". Spokesman-Review. p. C3.
- "Area schools snubbed". Spokesman-Review. March 15, 1993. p. C1.
- Goodwin, Dale (April 7, 1980). "Stockton to enroll at Gonzaga". Spokesman-Review. p. 23.
- Withers, Bud (January 20, 2010). "Dan Fitzgerald, the wisecracking coach who built Gonzaga's foundation, dies". Retrieved January 4, 2014.
- "Longtime Gonzaga coach Dan Fitzgerald dies at 67". Seattle Times. January 20, 2010. Retrieved January 21, 2010.
- Blanchette, John (January 20, 2010). "Former GU coach Fitzgerald dies". Spokesman-Review. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
- Stratton, Zach (January 21, 2010). "Dan Fitzgerald 1942-2010". Gonzaga Bulletin. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
- "Gonzaga picks Dan Fitzgerald". Spokane Daily Chronicle. April 17, 1978. p. 17.
- Missildine, Harry (November 29, 1978). "Fitz: 'That reminds me...'". Spokesman-Review. p. C1.
- Missildine, Harry (June 6, 1978). "Gonzaga scans conference switch". Spokesman-Review. p. 19.
- "AD named". Spokane Daily Chronicle. October 13, 1978. p. 24.
- "Hillock gets Gonzaga job". Spokane Daily Chronicle. March 4, 1981. p. 21.
- Blanchette, John (April 4, 1985). "'I'm just looking for a change'". Spokesman-Review. p. C1.
- Boling, Dave (November 8, 1995). "Fitzgerald will pass off to Monson in 1997". Spokesman-Review. p. C1.
- Blanchette, John (January 5, 1997). "All the right moves". Spokesman-Review. p. C1.
- "Stockton's mentor retiring at Gonzaga". Eugene Register-Guard. Associated Press. February 15, 1997. p. 6D.
- Bergum, Steve (December 23, 1997). "Fitzgerald leaves GU under fire". Spokesman-Review. p. A1.
- Bergum, Steve (September 10, 1998). "Roth no longer just 'acting'". Spokesman-Review. p. C5.
- Bergum, Steve (March 9, 1999). "Fitz has cheered from afar". Spokesman-Review. p. C4.
- "Company lands super shirt deal". Spokesman-Review. February 2, 2006. p. B1.
- "Passings: Dan Fitzgerald". Los Angeles Times. January 21, 2010. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
- "Dan Fitzgerald". Spokane Chronicle. November 24, 1988. p. 6H.
- Sports-Reference.com – college basketball – Dan Fitzgerald
- Dan Fitzgerald Memorial Basketball Tournament – Spokane
- Archbishop Mitty H.S. Alumni – Dan Fitzgerald – More than a coach
- Spokesman-Review obituary – Daniel J. Fitzgerald (Alternate obituary site)
- Gonzaga University Digital Collections – Dan Fitzgerald
- Gonzaga Men's Basketball – media guide – 2013–14 season
- Dan Fitzgerald at Find a Grave
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