Written by Chris Pendleton
BUENA VISTA, Va. — Southern Virginia University Athletic Director Scott Y. Doxey today announced that the university has launched a national search for a new head football coach.
The announcement coincides with today's news that current head football coach, DeLane Fitzgerald, has accepted the head coaching position at Frostburg State University in Frostburg, Md.
"We are thankful for the way Coach Fitzgerald has built our football program over the past five years," said Doxey. "DeLane has recruited great young men to this university and has supported them on the field, in the classroom and in their decisions to serve two-year missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He has been a great supporter of our university's mission and we will miss having him here, but wish him success in this new opportunity."
During his five-year stint as Southern Virginia's head football coach (2009-13), Fitzgerald compiled a 24-28 (.462) record giving him more wins than any other coach in the program's brief eleven-year history.
This past fall, Southern Virginia completed its most successful season to date finishing 8-2 after closing out the year on a six-game winning streak. Southern Virginia also finished the season as the No. 1 ranked team in the USCAA Coaches' Poll, while a program-record seven Knights were named to the VaSID All-State team (College Division).
"We are coming off of our best football season to date and we are committed to building on that success," said Southern Virginia University President Paul K. Sybrowsky. "Coach Fitzgerald did a wonderful job getting our program headed in the right direction and we are actively seeking high-caliber candidates who can carry that momentum and take our program to the next level."
Fitzgerald first joined the Southern Virginia's football program in 2006 as the Knights' special teams coordinator and defensive backs coach. The next two seasons (2007-08), he served as Southern Virginia's offensive coordinator before becoming the Knights' head coach in 2009.
"It's with a heavy heart that I hand in my resignation," said Fitzgerald. "I have loved this university. The people here have been great to me. The LDS community has been great to me. The values that this school and the Church hold have changed my life 100 percent for the better. Over my eight years here I've become a better coach, better person, better husband and better father. It has changed my life for the better and I would like to thank everyone here that has been a part of that.
"I'm going to miss the City of Buena Vista and I'm going to miss Southern Virginia University," Fitzgerald continued. "Most of all, I am going to miss these players. My family has loved our time here the past eight years. I will miss the spirit and environment of this university. Once again, I will miss the players on this team."
Southern Virginia and Frostburg State are fellow members of the NCAA Division III Capital Athletic Conference, which does not currently sponsor football as a championship sport. Frostburg State's football program competes in the Empire 8 Athletic Conference, while Southern Virginia's football program is entering its first year of competition in the New Jersey Athletic Conference.
Southern Virginia University is currently conducting a national search for Fitzgerald's replacement. To view or apply for the position, please visit the university's employment page.