Bulletin News

Fitzpatrick named national D3 football coach of the year


SUNY Cortland football head coach Curt Fitzpatrick has been named the 2023 American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division III Coach of the Year after guiding the Red Dragons to their first-ever national title. The award was presented on Jan. 9 at the AFCA's annual convention in Nashville, Tenn. 

It is Fitzpatrick's second major national coaching honor of the season – he was chosen as the D3football.com National Coach of the Year in December. 

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 D3football.com Top 25 and 13th by the AFCA. 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.