Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 79

Thread: Dan Fitzgerald - RIP

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    7,070

    Default Dan Fitzgerald - RIP

    TLKREM2

    Former Gonzaga men's basketball coach and Athletic Director Dan Fitzgerald died late tonight. More info to come... 4 minutes ago from web



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Dublin, CA
    Posts
    513

    Default

    GU press release from tonight. RIP Fitz

    http://news.gonzaga.edu/archives/1156

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Maple Valley, WA
    Posts
    3,228

    Default

    That's sad news - best wishes to his friends and family.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    7,070

    Default

    Odd... it is just hitting me. I would see Dan around, a few times a year at an establishment downtown. Looked like he was entertaining clients maybe. He would say hello. Looking back I remember not quite being able to place him, but he seemed like someone I knew... (put him in a white polo on a gym bench and I could pick him out of a line up though).

    Missed opportunities to talk with him...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Fort Bragg, NC
    Posts
    1,584

    Default

    RIP Coach Fitz.

    Thank You for your significant contributions to Gonzaga and the BB Program.

    My prayers are with you and your family.

    Thanks and God's Speed and Blessing.
    GO ZAGS!!!

  6. #6

    Default More information on Fitz

    Here is a story we posted on KREM.com about Dan Fitzgerald.

    http://www.krem.com/sports/Former-Go...-82140837.html

    We interviewed Fitz in September as part of our John Stockton special (before Stockton was inducted into the Hall of Fame). We'll re-post that uncut interview on our website tomorrow.

    I'm sure we will also get interviews with those who were close to Fitzgerald tomorrow as well.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    243

    Default

    Sad news; my condolences to Dan's family and friends.

    I always enjoyed going to games growing up, sitting behind the GU bench, watching & listening to Fitz... never a dull moment.
    Go Pilots!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    15,764

    Default

    Wow, very sad news. I still remember the whole Kennel Club frosting the front of their hair and and imitating Fitz at the expense of opposing players.
    'I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay… small acts of kindness and love.'
    - Gandalf the Grey

    ________________________________



    Foo Time

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia Suburb
    Posts
    2,861

    Default

    Rest in peace Coach Fitz. You were the head man on the team, when i was at GU. Thanks to you, our team is where we are today. You started it all. Very sad day for all of us. Condolences to your family.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    295

    Default

    Coach Fitz you will be missed but never forgotten. My condolences to the family..

    From KHQ.....


    SPOKANE, Wash.- Former Gonzaga coach, and the man widely considered to be responsible for Gonzaga University's rise as a college basketball power, Dan Fitzgerald died Tuesday afternoon after collapsing in an Airway Heights restaurant.
    Coach Fitzgerald, 67, was taken to Deaconess Medical Center but was pronounced dead about an hour after he arrived. His wife says she suspects it was a heart attack, though an official cause of death has not been confirmed.
    Coach Fitzgerald recruited John Stockton to Gonzaga in 1980 and coached his first college season. After that first year, Coach Fitzgerald handed the program over to Jay Hillock to concentrate on his duties as the school's athletic director and to oversee renovation of Kennedy Pavilion into the Martin Centre—what many of us now know as "The Kennel."
    In 1985 Coach Fitzgerald again started up as head coach and began the most successful run of basketball wins in the school's history. Before he stepped down as head coach in 1997, with a record of 252-171, he set in motion the plan for the Bulldogs' eventual, and current, rise to national prominence.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    11,716

    Default

    Wow. How very sad and unexpected. I saw him talking about John Stockton recently in a video posted on the board and it brought back some fond memories of interactions between my team and him.

    I'll miss him.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    University Place, WA (aka Chambers Bay)
    Posts
    5,092

    Default

    Rest in Peace, Fitz.

    "To be continued ....."
    Father Tony Lehman, SJ

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    St. Clair, MO
    Posts
    9,392

    Default

    Dang, sad to hear. Just the fact that he brought Stockton here is probably one of the big reasons this schools is known as Gaurd U.

    RIP Coach Fitz
    Allow myself to introduce....myself...

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Spokane WA.
    Posts
    2,115

    Default

    The god-father of Gonzaga's rise to basketball success. R.I.P. Coach Fitz. Hope to see a "Fitz" mourning patch on the jerseys.
    Last edited by HillBillyZag; 01-20-2010 at 06:25 AM.
    [/QUOTE]“Sometimes a player's greatest challenge is coming to grips with his role on the team.”
    ― Scottie Pippen

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    9,475

    Default sad news, indeed

    Fitz was a fixture at GU, a jack of all trades and a tireless promoter and spokesman for all things Gonzaga during his era.

    For decades before that, it was T.H. Hank Anderson who ran the program, which was run right up through Fitz, mostly on a shoestring budget managed out of a shoebox.

    In between Anderson and Fitz were (ABC) Adrian Buoncristiani (sp?) & Jay Hillock.

    But there's no doubt Fitz started the spark that planted the seed that has lead to the incredible journey the Gonzaga basketball program is enjoying today.

    He brought in the young, talented, hard working and dedicated Don Monson, Mark Few and Billy Grier and essentially launched what we all know now as the decade of excellence. I recall it as a time when Fitz once again managed to bring in these young, ambitious coaches mainly because it was as cheap to hire all three as it was to hire one -- just divide the budget by three and split it between them. Which was about what happened, imo.

    But their goal was to learn under a highly popular, very hard working and dedicated coach in a program that had a history of bright moments between years of steady, competitive seasons, headed by this firebrand named Fitz who managed to make a small school and program, nevertheless, more interesting than most through the strength of his personality.

    I knew him pretty well and used to have a beer with him now and again at Jack & Dan's. We wound up most of one night in the mid '70's, visiting in my VW van outside J & D's -- talking about the prospects of his taking over the AD's job from Larry Koentopp.

    Koentopp, it was then rumored, was going to leave Gonzaga to become an owner and general partner in the AAA Spokane Indians.

    I had knowledge of the move (it was going to happen and I assured him of this) and Dan wanted to grill me about it -- because he needed to plot his own strategy. So we talked about it well into the morning.

    And of course, this was about the same time he had recruited this neighborhood kid John Stockton, whose dad owned the pub. There wasn't much buzz about the JS signing, just that everyone involved with the family wished him well and were really happy that he was going to be playing locally.

    Little did we all know what was unfolding right before our beers.

    I saw Fitz a dozen or so times after that, when he was with Buffalo Shirts and not as happy as he had been as AD. In later years, he could be seen around town huddling with coach Monson, and later Few, or Heathcote or the senior Monson, Heathcote and a GU coach or two, talking strategy. As far as I know, that continued right up to his death.

    In other words, Fitz never really left GU, or at least the sphere of influence he had spawned.

    He was, and remained, to me, one of the funniest, most engaging people I have ever met. For years at GU he was famous for his yelling, ref-working pacing, up and down in front of the bench during games, and for always seeming to have a pithy, mostly-funny line or two to explain the status of the team, or a player, or a situtiton, after the games.

    He was loyal to a fault and he was loved unconditionally by those who had the great honor to know him.

    And he will be missed. It also looks like time has healed some of the wounds that surrounded his career, and that is good. I think one day history will show what Fitz did to keep the athletic department afloat in the lean years was always, first and foremost, with the life and health of the program foremost in his mind. I'm sure of it.

    For now, and from now on, only the good times and the great memories, the challenges and the Cinderella story that has become Gonzaga's and the world's national legacy, can rightfully be placed at the feet of Dan Fitzgerald, who was there when it all started and lived long enough, thank God, to see it all unfold before his eyes.

    Thanks, Fitz. God Bless you. May you rest in peace.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    On an island that is long
    Posts
    13,282

    Default

    Used to run into Fitz in Martin Center from time to time... he may have been a bit of a crazy man on the sidelines from time to time, but off the court he was a great man. He was always courteous and eager to help and always a kind word. I am very saddened by this. RIP Fitz... you and your family are in my prayers.
    "And Morrison? He did what All-Americans do. He shot daggers in the daylight and stole a win." - Steve Kelley (Seattle Times)

    "Gonzaga is a special place, with special people!" - Dan Dickau #21

    Foo me once shame on you, Foo me twice shame on me.

    2012 Foostrodamus - Foothsayer of Death

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    2,744

    Default

    Truly sad news. I hope the school can do something soon to honor Dan, though I imagine his family's still in a state of shock, as is Zagnation.
    “We’re not here as a %&#* courtesy!" - Coach Few

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Western Washington
    Posts
    644

    Default

    Sad day in Zag Nation. My condolences to his family during this difficult time. Rest in Peace Dan.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Spokane South Side
    Posts
    17,135

    Default

    I hope KREM 2 will find and post that video interview they posted with Fitz last September when Stockton was being inducted into the HOF. It was just great stuff! The link to the video subsequently became broken and still appears to be so. I loved it when it first aired and would be comforted to see it again.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    PNWest
    Posts
    3,437

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by HillBillyZag View Post
    The god-father of Gonzaga's rise to basketball success. R.I.P. Coach Fitz. Hope to see a "Fitz" mourning patch on the jerseys.
    Ditto, great idea.

    Thank you Fitz.

    Go!! Zags!!

  21. #21

    Default

    RIP Fitz.
    History has its eyes on you.

    Sage of the GU Message Board

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    13,297

    Default

    RIP Fitz.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Spokane South Side
    Posts
    17,135

    Default

    The Spokesman-Review has a wonderful photo album of Fitz up.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    13,297

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Spokane South Side
    Posts
    17,135

    Default

    Also see Jim Meehan's comments, which include a link to John Blanchette's recollections.

    Wonderful photo from that Spokesman-Review album:


    "GU Basketball coach Dan Fitzgerald breaks out in laughter after reading a sign
    held by Robin Barnhart at a 1995 rally honoring the team's WCC championship
    and the school's first trip to the NCAA tournament. The sign refers to a former
    WSU coach who refused to play the Zags."

    The more things change ...

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •