DeLane Fitzgerald is entering his fifth year as head football coach at Southern Virginia University and is the program's all-time winningest coach with a career record of 16-28.
In 2012, Fitzgerald led the Knights their second-most wins in the program's ten-year history finishing at 5-6, including a three-game winning streak to close out the season. During the previous two seasons (2010-11), Fizgerald guided Southern Virginia to consecutive 4-7 seasons, after going 3-8 in his first year as head coach, while capturing the program's first win over The Apprentice School at the 2009 Oyster Bowl.
Fitzgerald first joined Southern Virginia’s coaching staff in 2006 as special teams and defensive backs coach. In 2007, Fitzgerald was promoted to offensive coordinator and offensive line coach and helped football record its first winning season. With Fitzgerald calling plays that season, Southern Virginia’s offense broke every school record for yards gained (rushing, passing and total) and points scored as the Knights finished seventh in the NAIA for total offense (474.30 yards per game).
Before coming to Southern Virginia, Fitzgerald served for one season as offensive coordinator at NAIA-affiliated Bethel College helping the Wildcats to a 7-4 record (6-2 conference) on their way to the 2005 Mid-South Conference Western Division Championship.Fitzgerald’s offense was a big part of Bethel’s success in 2005 as the Wildcats finished the season ranked fourth in the NAIA for total offense (453.8 yards per game), third for rushing offense (272.8 yards per game), seventh for pass efficiency rating (140.2) and tenth for third-down conversion percentage (43.1 percent).
Fitzgerald began his coaching career as defensive coordinator at Bridgton Academy, a college preparatory school in North Bridgton, Maine. In 2002, he joined his alma mater, James Madison University, as defensive line coach. Following his stint with the Dukes, Fitzgerald became special teams coordinator and running backs coach at the University of Tennessee at Martin from 2003-2004.
Fitzgerald’s collegiate playing career began at Potomac State Junior College where he was a quarterback and wide receiver. After starting as a freshman, he became team captain for his sophomore year earning the James “Horse” Lough Award for his outstanding leadership.
Following two years at Potomac State, Fitzgerald completed his eligibility at James Madison. After redshirting in 1997, he started at full back for the Dukes during the next two seasons earning first-team Academic All-Atlantic 10 honors in both 1998 and 1999. During his senior year, he became a game captain as James Madison captured the 1999 Atlantic 10 championship.
Fitzgerald graduated from James Madison in December of 1999 with a B.S. in kinesiology and a minor in coaching and earned a masters degree in education from Bethel University in May 2012. He resides in Buena Vista, Va., with his wife, Kim, and three daughters, Mattie, Afton and Laila.
2009-Present—Head Football Coach; 16-28 career record; led program to second-most wins (5) during 2012 season