Former GU coach, athletic director Dan Fitzgerald dies

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by Gonzaga University/KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on January 20, 2010 at 1:23 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 20 at 7:13 PM

Former Gonzaga men's basketball coach and Athletic Director Dan Fitzgerald died unexpectedly on Tuesday evening.

Fitzgerald reportedly collapsed at a restaurant Tuesday night and died at a hospital in Spokane.  The cause of death is presumed to be a heart attack. "Fitz" was 67-years-old. 

Fitzgerald graduated from Gonzaga in 1965 and returned to his alma mater as the freshman basketball coach in the early 1970s. He was later named an assistant coach under Adrian Buonchristiani. Fitzgerald then left GU to take an assistant coaching job at Santa Clara University, before returning to Gonzaga as the head men's basketball coach and athletic director.

Fitzgerald served as the head coach for three season, but resigned so he could focus on his duties as athletic director. He reclaimed his position as head coach in 1985. He led the Zags until the end of the 1996-97 season.

Over his 15 years as head coach at Gonzaga, Fitzgerald led the Bulldogs to a 254-169 record. He led the Zags to the National Invitational Tournament twice (1993-94, 1995-96) and the NCAA Tournament (1994-95) once.

Fitzgerald coached two players who were eventually drafted into the NBA. One of those players is Hall of Famer John Stockton. The other is Paul Rogers who was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers in 1997.

Fitzgerald is survived by his wife Darleen and their daughter Kelly.

 

 

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