Cortland’s Curt Fitzpatrick Named National Coach of the Year

CORTLAND, N.Y. (SUNY CORTLAND ATHLETICS) — SUNY Cortland football head coach Curt Fitzpatrick has been named the 2023 National Coach of the Year after guiding the Red Dragons to their first-ever national title. 

Under Fitzpatrick, Cortland finished with a 14-1 record to set a school single-record for victories. The Red Dragons were 9-1 in the regular season, including a 6-0 mark to win their third straight Empire 8 title. 

In the NCAA Division III tournament, Cortland entered ranked 11th nationally in the Top 25. The Red Dragons opened with a 23-17 win at Endicott and a 25-24 home victory over Grove City. Cortland then won at Alma College in Michigan, 58-41, in the national quarterfinals to earn the first national semifinal appearance in school history. The Red Dragons won at Randolph-Macon, 49-14, to earn a trip to the finals, and Cortland completed its storybook run to the national crown with a 38-37 victory over top-ranked and 2022 national champion North Central in the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl, snapping the Cardinals’ 29-game winning streak. 

Cortland set school records this fall with 46.2 points and 509.2 total yards of offense per game. The Red Dragons scored 35 or more points in 13 of their 15 games. 

Fitzpatrick was hired at Cortland in February 2020 after serving seven seasons as head coach at Morrisville. Due to COVID-19, Fitzpatrick did not coach his first game with the Red Dragons until the fall of 2021. In three seasons on the field, he has led Cortland to a combined 34-4 record and three NCAA appearances. He and his assistants have been named the Empire 8 Coaching Staff of the Year in each of his three seasons at the Red Dragon helm. 

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