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Dan Fitzgerald Named Kansas Head Baseball Coach

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Courtesy of Kansas Athletics

LAWRENCE, Kan. — Dan Fitzgerald, an elite recruiter, player developer, coach and ascending figure in college baseball, has been named the Kansas Baseball Head Coach, Director of Athletics Travis Goff announced today. Fitzgerald has signed a 6-year contract that will keep him in Lawrence through the 2028 season.

“Dan Fitzgerald is a man of exceptional integrity, proven leader, developer of men, tremendous baseball mind, elite recruiter and the perfect fit for Kansas Baseball,” Director of Athletics Travis Goff said. “When we set out to find the next leader of this program, we talked to current student-athletes, alumni, and baseball leaders across the nation to help inform our search.  In countless conversations, Dan Fitzgerald’s name and background – along with the attributes in which he leads with every day – were highlighted as the ideal fit for KU Baseball. Dan clearly articulated his vision for the future of Kansas Baseball and passionately demonstrated his desire to be at the University of Kansas. We could not be more excited about the outlook for our program with Coach Fitzgerald at the helm. We are ecstatic to welcome Dan, his wife, Kelly, and three three boys, Will, Max and Ben, to the Jayhawk family.”

“I would like to thank Travis Goff and the leadership team at KU for entrusting me with this amazing opportunity to be the head baseball coach at the University of Kansas,” Fitzgerald said. “In my conversations with Travis and the search committee, it became crystal clear that our visions aligned regarding the future of this program. There is a passion for KU that permeated from each individual I met with and that shared partnership will be vital to the program’s future success. I have been very diligent in waiting for the right opportunity to lead a program and this was the perfect destination for me and my family. I look forward to developing these student-athletes as baseball players as well as men, and putting a program together that all Jayhawks can be proud of.”

Fitzgerald arrives at Kansas following one year at LSU, where he served as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator, helping lead the Tigers to a 40-win season and an NCAA Regional final appearance. His time in Baton Rouge was preceded by a successful nine-year tenure at Dallas Baptist as both an assistant coach, associate head coach and recruiting coordinator.

At DBU, Fitzgerald had a major hand in bringing unprecedented success to the Patriots program. In his nine seasons with the program, Dallas Baptist played in seven NCAA Regionals, won three regular-season conference championships and won three conference tournaments.

Fitzgerald comes to Lawrence with a sterling reputation in player development and recruiting, along with deep Midwestern ties, having served as a head coach at Des Moines Area Community College for five seasons and spending five seasons as an assistant in the region.

During his nine seasons at Dallas Baptist (2012-21), Fitzgerald played a major role in the Patriots developing and recruiting some of the top talent in the country. He helped recruit and develop 30 Major League Baseball Draft picks, 11 of those being Top-10 picks, nine All-Americans, eight freshman All-Americans, 69 all-conference selections and two conference players of the year.

Dallas Baptist tallied 270 victories from 2015-21, which was the fifth-most by a Division I baseball program during that span. The Patriots, known best for their explosive offense, ranked in the top 25 nationally in home runs in each season during Fitzgerald’s time at Dallas Baptist. The team held a top 25 ranking in a total of 51 offensive categories across his nine seasons.

With the Patriots proving to be one of the top programs nationally, Fitzgerald was promoted from assistant coach to associate head coach in June 2016. Dallas Baptist posted a 341-168 (.670) record during his tenure with six seasons of at least 40 wins. Fitzgerald helped land some of the top prep players nationally, by being able to recruit throughout the country, thanks to his trusted relationships and proven track record, which he now brings to Kansas.

Fitzgerald has earned respect among his peers. In a survey of 90 head coaches conducted by Baseball America in 2020, Fitzgerald was rated No. 7 on a list of assistant coaches from across the nation that will one day make the best head coach. Baseball America also rated Fitzgerald as the No. 7 assistant coach in the nation in 2018, while D1Baseball ranked him as the 17th-best recruiter in the country in 2016.

Prior to his time at LSU and Dallas Baptist, Fitzgerald was the head coach at Des Moines Area Community College (2008-12). In his five years at DMACC, Fitzgerald was awarded Coach of the Year honors by 13 different publications. His team’s won five consecutive conference championships and advanced to the Junior College World Series on four separate occasions.

Fitzgerald also had 36 players sign with Division I programs, nine student-athletes be named Junior College All-Americans, including the 2009 National Player of the Year.  His program finished with at least 40 wins in every season and compiled a 249-73 (.773) record over the five-year stretch.

Fitzgerald’s coaching career began in 2000 at Iowa as a volunteer assistant coach. He then interned with the Minnesota Twins scouting department (2002) before returning to coaching as an assistant at North Iowa Area Community College (2003-04), Flagler College (2005-06) and Des Moines Area Community College (2007-08).

In addition to coaching at schools, Fitzgerald has spent time as a head coach in top summer leagues around the country. That includes a stint in 2004 as the Field Manager for Athletes in Action in Alaska, the sport ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ.

A native of Edina, Minnesota, Fitzgerald attended and played baseball at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, and the University of Wisconsin-River Falls before graduating with a degree in English from the University of Minnesota in 2000. Most recently, he earned a Masters of Education in Kinesiology from Dallas Baptist in 2016. Fitzgerald and his wife, Kelly, have three sons – Will, Max and Ben.

The Fitzgerald File
Alma Mater: Minnesota, 2000 (Master’s, Dallas Baptist, 2016)
Wife: Kelly
Children: Will, Max, Ben

Coaching Experience:
2022-present: Kansas – Head Coach
2021-22: LSU – Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator
2016-21: Dallas Baptist – Associate Head Coach/Recruiting Coordinator
2012-16: Dallas Baptist – Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator
2008-12: Des Moines Area Community College – Head Coach
2007-08: Des Moines Area Community College – Assistant Coach
2004-06: Flagler College – Assistant Coach
2003-04: North Iowa Area Community College – Assistant Coach
2002: Minnesota Twins – Scouting Intern
2000-01: Iowa – Volunteer Assistant Coach

Postseason Experience:
2014: Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Champions; Fort Worth Regional
2015: Dallas Regional
2016: Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Champions; Lubbock Regional
2017: Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Champions; Fort Worth Regional
2018: Fayetteville Regional
2019: Lubbock Regional
2021: Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Champions; Columbia Super Regional
2022: Hattiesburg Regional

Top 10 Round MLB Draft Picks:
2nd Round – Burl Carraway (Chicago Cubs – 2020)
2nd Round – Jimmy Glowenke (San Francisco Giants – 2020)
2nd Round – Jameson Hannah (Oakland Athletics – 2018)
4th Round – Seth Elledge (Seattle Mariners – 2017)
5th Round – Chance Adams (New York Yankees – 2015)
6th Round – Devlin Granberg (Boston Red Sox – 2018)
6th Round – MD Johnson (Miami Marlins – 2019)
6th Round – David Martinelli (Philadelphia Phillies – 2016)
7th Round – Dalton Higgins (New York Yankees – 2017)
9th Round – Matt Duce (St. Louis Cardinals – 2018)
9th Round – Camden Duzenack (Arizona Diamondbacks – 2017)

Season tickets for the 2023 season are on sale now for as low as $80. Secure your spot to be a part of the next era of Kansas Baseball by clicking HERE.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttps://sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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