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McNeese, Fitzgerald agree to three-year contract extension

McNeese soccer coach Drew Fitzgerald addresses his team.
McNeese soccer coach Drew Fitzgerald addresses his team.(McNeese Athletics)
Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 5:02 PM CST
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LAKE CHARLES- McNeese State University Athletic Director Heath Schroyer announced Thursday that McNeese and Cowgirl Head Soccer Coach Drew Fitzgerald have agreed to terms on a new three-year contract extension through the 2025 season.

“Really excited to sign coach Fitzgerald to a new three-year contract. Coach has done a great job building a comprehensive program during his tenure. His girls do a great job in the community, in the classroom, and on the field” said Schroyer. “The program had a heck of a year this season and I truly believe the best is yet to come. This contract is not only indicative of how much I appreciate Coach and the job he and his staff have done, but also my belief in what he’s building and the future of Cowgirl Soccer.”

“I’ve been fortunate to have talented players and a great staff during my time. Our success has been due to their hard work and commitment to our program” Fitzgerald said. “I appreciate the opportunity provided by (McNeese President) Dr. (Daryl) Burckel and AD Heath Schroyer to continue working to create a championship experience for our students.”

This past fall Fitzgerald led the Cowgirls to 13 wins, tying the program record set by Fitzgerald and co. in 2018, a season that featured a double OT victory over SEC power Arkansas. The 13 wins represent the fourth straight double-digit win total under Fitzgerald, excluding the shortened 2021 Spring season.

Fitzgerald has posted a 61-43-7 record in six seasons at the helm, including five conference tournament appearances.

Fitzgerald began his career at McNeese spending four years (2005-2008) as an assistant coach under then head coach Scooter Savoie. During his previous tenure, Fitzgerald helped McNeese to an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2006 and a Southland Conference Championship in 2007. He also aided the team in reaching the Southland Conference Tournament finals in 2008.  Fitzgerald helped develop the program’s first McNeese Hall of Famer, Kamryn Koch who became the all-time leading scorer as well as being named 2008 Louisiana and Southland Conference Player of the Year. She was also recognized as an NSCAA/Adidas Scholar Team member.

Fitzgerald returned to Lake Charles in 2014 and was a key factor in helping revamp a program that had scored one conference victory a season prior to his arrival. Under his guidance, McNeese tallied six league wins for a fourth-place finish that helped propel them to an appearance in the 2014 Southland Conference Tournament before being named head coach in 2016.

As head coach he has helped guide the Cowgirls to three SLC tournament semifinal appearances (2016, 2019, 2021), has coached 24 All-Southland Conference selections, 13 SLC All-Academic selections, a CoSIDA Academic All-American, two United Soccer Coaches All-South Region Team selections, two United Soccer Coaches All-Midwest Region Team selections, two United Soccer Scholar All-Region players, five SLC All-Tournament Team selections, an SLC Player of the Year, SLC Goalie of the Year and an SLC Defender of the Year. The program has been honored for its scholastic efforts earning the United Soccer Coaches Team Academic Award every season under Fitzgerald.

He was the first coach in Cowgirl soccer history to receive a multi-year contract back in 2020.

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