Gonzaga University icon dies unexpectedly at 67 - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Gonzaga University icon dies unexpectedly at 67





















SPOKANE, Wash. - Former Gonzaga coach, and the man widely considered to be responsible for Gonzaga University's rise as a college basketball power, Dan Fitzgerald died Tuesday afternoon after collapsing in an Airway Heights restaurant.

Coach Fitzgerald, 67, was taken to Deaconess Medical Center but was pronounced dead about an hour after he arrived. His wife says she suspects it was a heart attack, though an official cause of death has not been confirmed.

Coach Fitzgerald recruited John Stockton to Gonzaga in 1980 and coached his first college season. After that first year, Coach Fitzgerald handed the program over to Jay Hillock to concentrate on his duties as the school's athletic director and to oversee renovation of Kennedy Pavilion into the Martin Centre, what many of us now know as "The Kennel."

In 1985 Coach Fitzgerald again started up as head coach and began the most successful run of basketball wins in the school's history. Before he stepped down as head coach in 1997, with a record of 252-171, he set in motion the plan for the Bulldogs' eventual, and current, rise to national prominence.

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