Mark FitzPatrick returns for his eighth season as the head cross country and track and field coach at Washington & Jefferson College during the 2010-2011 academic year.
The five-time Presidents’ Athletic Conference Coach of the Year has built the W&J cross country and track and field programs into respectability around the region.
In 2010, FitzPatrick helped the men's track & field team win the PAC Championship for the first time in school history. FitzPatrick was lauded as the PAC Coach of the Year, while Josh Buckley '12 was awarded his second-straight PAC Field Athlete of the Year honor. Both FitzPatrick and Buckley earned the same awards at the 2009 PAC Championships.
The track & field squads have improved dramatically throughout FitzPatrick's short tenure, including back-to-back seasons in which a student-athlete earned NCAA Division III All-America honors. Doug Melton '08 became the first male NCAA Track & Field All-American in school history at the 2008 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships following an eighth-place finish in the discus.
Summer (Baumgard) Spencer '09 placed seventh in the high jump at the 2009 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships, becoming just the second woman in school history to accomplish the feat. Spencer finished as a five-time NCAA Division III qualifier.
At the 2006 PAC Track & Field Championships, FitzPatrick helped the Presidents win the school's first-ever women's team title. A year later, W&J defended its conference championship.
He also helped lead the school's best-ever men's and women's team finishes at the ECAC Championships in 2007. Two W&J male student-athletes won ECAC individual titles. FitzPatrick also helped six student-athletes earn qualifying times and marks for the 2007 NCAA Championships and Summer Baumgard tied for 11th in the high jump at the national outdoor event.
Rudzki became the first W&J student-athlete to capture the PAC cross country championship in 2005, while Kelli Gee and Lauren Weinheimer (twice) have also collected PAC Track & Field Athlete of the Year awards. Gee (2005 Indoor and 2006 Outdoors), Summer Baumgard (2006, 2007, 2008 Outdoor; 2008 and 2009 Indoor), Melton (2008 Outdoor) and Curt Jones (2009 Outdoor) have also competed at the NCAA Division III Track and Field Championships in recent years.
FitzPatrick, the first full-time track and field and cross country coach in W&J history, played a key role in the development of cross country runner Erin Long '09, who earned All-Region laurels during all four years of her career. He also helped Matthew Rudzki win two Presidents' Athletic Conference Cross County titles during his career.
Long collected consecutive fourth-place finishes at the conference championships, while also claiming her third and fourth consecutive First Team All-PAC honor. In 2009, she also earned a career-best 14th-place finish and all-region award at the NCAA Division III Regionals.
The men’s cross country team placed second at the 2005 PAC Championships, earning its best-ever finish and FitzPatrick was honored as the 2005 PAC Men's Cross Country Coach of the Year.
W&J student-athletes have earned All-Presidents’ Athletic Conference honors 144 times under FitzPatrick's guidance, including 108 in track and field. The Presidents have claimed 46 conference track and field individual championships and five cross country performers have earned All-Region laurels.
During the 2004-05 seasons, FitzPatrick’s cross country and track and field squads showed vast improvements, culminating in the President women finishing second at the 2005 PAC Track & Field Championships. W&J also sent 11 athletes to the ECAC Outdoor Championships.
FitzPatrick played a big role in the development of Chad Edwards, who qualified for the ECAC Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Edwards was W&J’s first ECAC qualifier in five years.
FitzPatrick came to W&J from Hiram College, where he spent three seasons as the head coach of men’s and women’s track and field and cross country.
During his tenure with the Terriers, FitzPatrick coached five North Coast Athletic Conference champions and helped 22 student-athletes earn All-NCAC laurels. In 2003, he led the women’s track and field team to their best finish at the conference championships in school history.
Prior to his experience at Hiram, FitzPatrick served as the assistant women’s cross country and track and field coach at the University of Wisconsin-Lacrosse from 1998-2000 where he coached seven Division III All-Americans and helped lead the Eagles to three Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference titles.
FitzPatrick also spent two seasons as the assistant cross country and track and field coach at Allegheny College from 1996-1998, helping to train five national qualifiers in cross country and track.
A 1995 graduate of Fairfield (Conn.) with a double major in philosophy and political science, FitzPatrick also earned a master’s degree in exercise and sports science from UW-Lacrosse.
FitzPatrick and his wife, Jennifer, are the proud parents of their daughter, Molly.