York’s Mike Fitzgerald returns to Marist to take over program

Fitzgerald previously served as offensive coordinator with RedHawks

York Head Coach Mike Fitzgerald wirls with some of his team during practice at the Elmhurst school on Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2023.

York coach Mike Fitzgerald is heading back to Marist to take over the RedHawks program, Marist announced Monday. Fitzgerald previously had served as an assistant coach with the RedHawks before taking over the Dukes’ program.

The move comes after the school also announced that Marist coach Ron Dawczak had decided to leave the head coaching position.

“Coach Mike Fitzgerald brings to Marist a wealth of experience and success as he takes over as head football coach,” Marist President Larry Tucker said in a news release. “Coach Fitzgerald is no stranger to Marist having been an innovative offensive coordinator under head coach Pat Dunne, where he was part of many wins and our 2009 state championship game appearance. We love Mike’s passion for his players and for Marist. He certainly knows how to develop a positive football culture.”

Fitzgerald started his coaching career with Marist in 2008 as the program’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. The RedHawks reached the playoffs six times with Fitzgerald on the staff, including the Class 8A state title game in 2009.

“Coach Mike Fitzgerald brings to Marist a wealth of experience and success as he takes over as head football coach.”

—  Larry Tucker, Marist president

Fitzgerald spent the past six seasons leading a transformation at York. He led the program to back-to-back state semifinal appearances the past two years for the first time in program history and finished with a 43-17 overall record with the Dukes.

“While I was not looking for nor expecting to move from York, this offer was something that I had to consider, especially with my past experience and relationship with both the school and the community,” Fitzgerald said in the release. “This is a special and unique opportunity for both myself and my family and I cannot wait to get started.”

Fitzgerald takes over for Dawczak, who left the program with the third-highest win total in program history behind Tony Pietrzak (79) and Dunne (71). Marist went to three state semifinal games under Dawczak. He finished with a 56-24 overall record at the school.

“It has been an absolute honor and privilege to be the head football coach at Marist for the past seven years,” Dawczak said. “I would like to thank Larry Tucker for giving me this opportunity and my predecessor, Pat Dunne, for his work in building this outstanding program and for his unwavering support during my tenure. I also want to thank Principal Meg Dunneback, Athletic Director Eric Simpson and all of the faculty and staff members at Marist that have been so supportive over the past seven years.”