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 camptain 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
|Title:||Defensive Coordinator; Defensive Backs Coach|
Rad Patterson his entering his second season as defensive coordinator for the Southern Virginia University football team. He is also the Knights' defensive backs coach—a role he has held since 2009.
During the 2010 season, Patterson also served as Southern Virginia's linebackers coach.
Prior to joining Southern Virginia's coaching staff, Patterson was head football coach at Parry McCluer High School from 2004-08. Before that, he served as an assistant coach for the Fighting Blues from 1990-2003.
As a player, Patterson led his high school team to the 1983 state title earning All-State First Team honors in the process. After high school, Patterson continued his football career as a defensive back at Bridgewater College.
Patterson has a B.S. in health and physical education from Bridgewater College and a master's degree in education from James Madison University.
Patterson resides in Buena Vista with his wife Angie. They have three children.
|Title:||Defensive Line Coach; Special Teams Coordinator|
Anthony Buchanan has been the defensive line coach at Southern Virginia University since 2009. After Bucanan's first season with the program, Head Coach DeLane Fitzgerald added special teams and strength and conditioning to his duties.
Before coming to Southern Virginia, Buchanan spent three years (2006-2008) at Johnson C. Smith University as defensive line coach and pro liaison. Prior to his stint at Johnson C. Smith University, he coached tight ends at Tennessee Tech University from 2004-2005.
Buchanan came to Tennessee Tech from Scottsdale Community College where he was the tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator. He also ran Scottsdale’s football strength and conditioning program.
Buchanan’s coaching career began at his alma mater, Wingate University. After two years as a starting defensive tackle for the Bulldogs (1997-1998), he began working with the defensive line, linebackers and special teams in the spring of 1999. Buchanan remained at Wingate through the spring of 2001, overseeing recruiting for North Carolina, South Carolina and North Georgia.
Before transferring to Wingate, Buchanan played defensive tackle for Phoenix College during the 1995 and 1996 seasons.
Buchanan has a B.A. in liberal studies from Wingate University and a master’s degree in instructional leadership (summa cum laude) from Tennessee Tech University.
He lives in Buena Vista, Va., with his wife, Debbie, and their four children.
|Title:||Assistant Defensive Line Coach|
Walter Ralls is entering his second season as assistant defensive line coach for the Southern Virginia University football team.
Ralls was vice president at Southern Virginia University from 1996 until he retired in 2007.
Ralls played one season of collegiate football at Long Beach State University.
He and his wife Mary live in Rockbridge Country.
Tommy Davidson is entering his second season as linebackers coach for the Southern Virginia University football team.
As a player, Davidson was an outstanding middle linebacker for the Knights ranking first all-time in Southern Virginia football history for total tackles (342), unassisted tackles (211), tackles for loss (45.0), yards from tackles-for-loss (199), quarterback sacks (10.5) and yards from sacks (95).
After closing out a stellar four-year career with a record-breaking senior campaign, Davidson became the first Knight in Southern Virginia football's nine-year history to garnish NAIA Defensive Player of the Year honors as well as a three-time NAIA All-Independent honoree—he earned second-team honors in 2009 and first-team honors in 2010 and 2011.
He is returning to Southern Virginia to complete a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts.
|Title:||Offensive Coordinator; Quarterbacks Coach|
Tye Hiatt is entering his first season as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for Southern Virginia University football.
Hiatt began coaching for the Knights in 2011 as a wide receivers coach.
During the 2012-13 season, Hiatt served as assistant women's basketball coach helping the squad to a 15-9 record.
As a player, Hiatt was an outstanding wide receiver for the Knights and still ranks second all-time in Southern Virginia football history for career receiving yards (1,591), receptions (127) and touchdown receptions (15) while placing third in all-purpose yards (1,871).
Following a superb senior season in 2008, Hiatt was named to the NAIA All-Independent First Team, Roanoke Times All-State First Team and VaSID All-State Second Team. That year he also became only the second Southern Virginia football player named to the NAIA All-American team earning an honorable mention selection.
After completing his final year of athletic eligibly, Hiatt served a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Houston, Texas.
He earned his B.A. from Southern Virginia in physical education and recreation administration in 2012 and is currently working on his master's degree in sport management at Liberty University.
Hiatt and his wife Paige live in Buena Vista.
|Title:||Assistant Offensive Line Coach|
Corey Hall is an assistant offensive line coach for the Southern Virginia University football team.
Hall joined Southern Virginia's coaching staff in 2008 serving as the Knights' tight ends coach during his first season with the program. In 2009, Hall transitioned to assistant offensive line coach, working primarily with offensive tackles. In addition to his duties with the offensive line, Hall works with long snappers on special teams.
Hall was raised in Rockbridge County and was a standout football player at Rockbridge Country High School. Following high school, Hall continued his football career at Ferrum College as long snapper.
Hall resides in Buena Vista with his wife, Heather, and daughter, Makayla.
|Title:||Recruiting Coordinator; Film Coordinator; Wide Receivers Coach|
Chip Erekson is entering his second season as recruiting coordinator, film coordinator and wide receivers coach for the Southern Virginia University football team.
Prior to joining Southern Virginia's coaching staff, Erekson was offensive coordinator from 2010-11 at White Pine High School in Ely, Nevada, highlighted by an 11-1 record and 2A state runner-up finish in 2011.
Erekson began his coaching career in 1993 at the junior high school level in Utah. From 1994-2000, he went to the high school level as wide receivers and defensive backs coach at Payson High School in Utah. Erekson then moved to Nevada and served as the head football coach from 2002-04 at Lund High School. In 2007, Erekson gained valuable collegiate coaching experience as film coordinator and wide receivers coach at NJCAA-affiliate New Mexico Military Institute.
Graduating in 1989, Erekson had a standout high school football career in Wisconsin at White Lake High School.
He lives in Buena Vista, Va., with his wife, Antoinett. They have nine children.
|Title:||Offensive Line Coach; Tight Ends Coach|
Nathan Sievers is entering his second season as offensive line and tight ends coach for the Southern Virginia University football team.
Before coming to Southern Virginia, Sievers was run game coordinator and offensive line coach for six years (2006-11) at Foothill High School in Henderson, Nevada. While Sievers was coaching, the Foothill High School squad reached the Sunrise Region championship game in 2011 and was only one of four football teams within Nevada’s 4A classification to win a playoff game in the state playoffs three consecutive years during the 2009-11 span.
A native of Staunton, Illinois, Sievers was a standout offensive lineman and linebacker at Staunton High School leading his team to a conference championship in 1998.
Sievers has a B.S. in construction management from Bradley University and resides in Lynchburg with his wife Katty and their child.
|Title:||Running Backs Coach|
Thomas Canady is entering his second season as running backs coach for the Southern Virginia University football team.
As a player, Canady enjoyed a standout playing career at the fullback position for the Knights including earning NAIA All-Independent First Team honors in 2010.
Canady was also a member of the 2010 and 2011 Southern Virginia football teams in which they finished 4-7 overall both seasons, recording the second-most wins in program history.
Canady is returning to Southern Virginia to complete a bachelor’s degree.