Hall of Fame Coach Cronin Announces Retirement
Submitted on December 6, 2021
Coach Bill Cronin has walked the sidelines with the Tigers for 30-plus seasons, 25 straight has head coach, and Monday afternoon he made one final call. In a private team meeting, the legendary Hall of Famer announced he would be watching from the stands now.
He's guided the team to its highest of highs – four straight national tournament championship appearances; winning back-to-back titles; winning 218 games to just 65 losses with 14 Mid-South Conference titles and 16 national tournament bids. The 2021 team went 8-2 and were just on the outside looking in on a 17th-national tournament in Cronin's 25 seasons.
The program became a staple powerhouse back in the late 1980s when Kevin Donley took over as head coach, bringing Cronin with him as an assistant. Cronin worked his way to offensive coordinator and was mastermind of Georgetown's high-powered, well-oiled machine that led to a 1991 national title.
Cronin built a family in the Tiger program – Tiger Pride through and through – as countless former players returned to patrol the sidelines and coach up the next batch of Tiger men.
"It's always been the people," Cronin said on being at Georgetown for 25 years. "It's been a great place to settle down and watch our boys grow up. A lot of the credit goes to Ellen and our three sons for sacrificing so much that we can do the things we've done here."
Along with all the success has come eight MSC Coach of the Year, two NAIA Coach of the Year, two AFCA Region Coach of the Year honors as well as a 2019 induction into the NAIA Hall of Fame. He became the first NAIA coach to serve on the board of trustees for the AFCA and was the first NAIA coach to be president of the AFCA.
"The players make these kinds of things happen, whether it be the hall of fame or winning championships," Cronin said. "You also have to give a lot of credit to the coaches and players of the past who worked hard to build that tradition. You never accomplish the things you do alone."
Georgetown must begin a search for the next coach who can continue this tradition. Vice President of Athletics Brian Evans is no stranger to filling big shoes.
"Months on the job and I was looking to replace men's basketball head coach Happy Osborne," Evans said. "Moments such as this are never easy as it is difficult from the standpoint of saying goodbye to a legend, a leader, a coworker that you know makes the right kind of difference in these young student-athletes' lives; while also looking to make the right call on who can, not fill, as no one can fill, but step up and carry the Georgetown banner.
"My first focus is to honor Coach Cronin, his wife and family. Ellen and their sons have been as instrumental in making Georgetown football a family. Ellen has been a rock and her work with parents and alumni will be a notable absence as well next fall. My second focus is finding the right fit for our program to carry on this legacy Cronin started."