First-ever NAIA Coach to Serve as AFCA President
Submitted on January 10, 2018
Georgetown College football coach Bill Cronin will lead the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) in 2018 as president, the first NAIA coach to serve in that capacity. Cronin, who moves up from first vice-president, succeeds outgoing president Rich Rodriguez of the University of Arizona. Cronin was elected president by members attending the AFCA 2018 convention this week in Charlotte, NC.
“It is with great pride and honor that I accept this position of 2018 AFCA President,” Cronin said. “Not many in their profession get an opportunity to be associated with such great leaders as the football coaching profession provides. These coaches have the ability to change lives because of their influence on countless young men. The AFCA provides a reservoir of knowledge, experience and inspiration to so many in our sport. I look forward to assisting Todd Berry (AFCA Executive Director) and the AFCA staff in any way possible to continue this charge.”
Coach Cronin, named to the AFCA Board of Trustees in 2007, also an NAIA first, completed his 21st season at the helm of the Tigers. He is the winningest coach in program history with an overall record of 192-53. He has led GC to two NAIA national championships and 15 NAIA National Football Championship playoffs. The Tigers have advanced to seven semifinals and four national title games under Cronin. He was an assistant for the only other trip to both of those games as Georgetown won in 1991.
Georgetown has won 14 outright or shared Mid-South Conference titles during Cronin’s tenure. He played a role in five others as an assistant. GC has never had a losing season with Cronin in charge.
Cronin won two NAIA National Coach of the Year honors after leading the Tigers to back-to-back NAIA national titles in 2000 and 2001 with identical 14-0 records. He guided Georgetown to four straight NAIA national title games from 1999 to 2002 with an incredible win-loss record of 53-3. He won his first AFCA Regional Coach of the Year honor in 2011 after leading Georgetown to a 12-1 record and a trip to the NAIA semifinals, then backed it up with a second regional honor in 2012 after a 10-1 season and another trip to the NAIA playoffs.
Before being named the head coach at Georgetown, Cronin was the head coach at Madison Central High School from 1993-96. Prior to that, he was an assistant coach at Georgetown from 1982-92, helping the Tigers to the 1991 NAIA national championship. From 1981 to 1982, Cronin was an assistant at Anderson College. He got his start in coaching at Carmel Junior High School from 1978-80.
Coach and his wife Ellen reside in Georgetown. They have three sons – Kevin, Chris and Cory – and one grandson – Oscar.
“This is a well-deserved honor,” said GC Director of Athletics Brian Evans. “Coach is by far one of the hardest working individuals I’ve had the pleasure of being around. He cares about people and the game of football. He’s always on top of things, trying to make everything better or take the next step. We are very proud of him not just for this accomplishment, but the many things he has done and continues to do for Georgetown College, the Georgetown community and the football community.”
In addition to Cronin, the 2018 AFCA officers include first vice-president Frank Solich of Ohio University, second vice-president Gary Patterson of TCU and third vice-president Pete Fredenburg of the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.
Also serving on the Board in 2018: Turner Gill, Liberty University; Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern University; Craig Bohl, University of Wyoming; Bronco Mendenhall, University of Virginia; Todd Knight, Ouachita Baptist University; David Cutcliffe, Duke University; Jeff McMartin, Central College (Iowa); Ken Niumatalolo, U.S. Naval Academy; Dan Mullen, University of Florida; Blake Anderson, Arkansas State University; Danny Rocco, University of Delaware; Paul Winters, Wayne State University (Mich.); Danny Pearman, Clemson University, ex officio member and chairman of the Assistant Coaches Committee; Van Malone, Southern Methodist University, ex officio member and chairman of the Minority Issues Committee; Michael Christensen, Lakewood (Calif.) High School, ex officio member and chairman of the High School Committee; and Mark McElroy, Saddleback College (Calif.), ex officio member and Junior College representative. David Shaw from Stanford University, Seth Littrell from the University of North Texas and Chris Klieman from North Dakota State University are newly elected members of the Board this year, serving as FBS and FCS representatives, respectively. AFCA Executive Director Todd Berry serves as secretary-treasurer of the organization.
For more information on the AFCA and its programs, visit www.afca.com, or follow on Twitter @WeAreAFCA.