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Coach Bill Cronin Inducted into NAIA Hall of Fame

Submitted on January 13, 2020

Back in September of 2019, when Coach Cronin was surprised with the news of his upcoming induction into the NAIA Hall of Fame, he was fittingly surrounded by fellow coaches, his players, his wife Ellen, and so many others who were ecstatic at the news. On Sunday evening, Coach Cronin was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in a ceremony in Nashville, Tennessee, once again surrounded by family and friends.

On the football field, Coach Cronin’s stats speak for themselves. This past season he became one of just 93 college coaches in history to reach 200 wins in a career. Before that, he was one of the fastest coaches to achieve 100 wins. He took Georgetown College to four straight national championship games between 1999 and 2002 and won back to back titles in 2000 and 2001.

But more than anything, Coach Cronin has imbued Tiger Pride upon the Georgetown College football program. Introduced by his sons: Cory, Chris, and Kevin, Cory spoke on Tiger Pride and quoted Cronin’s longtime assistant Marty Park, who has been with him for all of his 204 wins. Park said, “It’s something we all dig deep for when we face new challenges in life after our Tiger football days are over. It’s a bottled-up reserve of legacy and tradition, full of ‘doing your absolute best, even when less can get the job done’ that can be called upon in the blink of an eye. That mentorship doesn’t end with the unstrapping of our pads in our last game; it carries on within us forever, and we all hopefully pass it down to the young men in our lives.”

After his introduction, a visibly moved Coach Cronin then took to the stage to accept his award. Following his sons’ introduction, Cronin said, “A highlight of my career has been being called dad. A highlight of my career has been watching them on the field.”

Coach Cronin became the tenth Georgetown College induction into the NAIA Hall of Fame. Speaking on this achievement in his remarks, Cronin said, “Being the tenth recipient of this award that’s been awarded to Georgetown College speaks more about an institution than it does an individual.”

He also spoke of the legacy of future coaches established by the Georgetown College football program. “We have 12 former players who are coaching in college football. We have 41 former players coaching in high school football. We have two former players coaching in the NFL.”

Joined at the ceremony by his family, fellow coaches, former players, and members of the Georgetown College family, Cronin thanked those who have meant so much to him in his career. He concluded his remarks stating, “The moral of the story is you never accomplish the things you do alone.” He then asked his wife of 38 years, Ellen Cronin, to join him on stage and honored the impact she has made not just on him, but the entire Tiger football program.

“This isn’t inducting Bill Cronin,” he concluded. “This is inducting the Georgetown College Tigers to this Hall of Fame.”

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